Russians to prosecute over satellite loss
October 24, 2011
By Chris Forrester
Russia’s Prosecutors General’s Office is to pursue a case alleging criminal negligence against those it argues are responsible for the loss of Russia’s Express AM-4 satellite on August 18.
The facts are that a Russian Proton-M rocket failed to deliver the Express-AM4 satellite that was designed to provide digital television and secure government communications over Siberia and the Far East. The satellite failed to separate from the carrier rocket and did not reach its designated orbit.
Russian Prosecutor General’s Office spokeswoman Marina Gridneva said: “Both incidents were the result of negligence by employees of state space industry enterprises subordinate to [Russian space agency] Roscosmos, [negligence] during control procedures, as well as the absence of proper control by Roscosmos of decision-making by authorised persons,” Gridneva said.
The Prosecutor General’s Office has proposed introducing criminal punishment for employees of commercial organisations found guilty of causing serious damage to the country’s space industry, Gridneva said.