Author: Pavel Orlov

CAN'T WE MAKE OUR OWN PROTONS? (By Pavel Orlov. Novaya gazeta, Aug. 9, 2013, p. 6. Condensed text:) Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin has again attempted to surprise everyone:

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this time with an initiative to integrate the space and aviation industries [see article under Space, above] - which, amid the numerous failures in the space sector, was perceived by experts as yet another statement from Rogozin designed primarily for self-promotion.

Experts are rather skeptical about that initiative. Ivan Moiseyev, research director at the Space Policy Institute, points out that this idea was already implemented at the turn of the century: "Rosaviakosmos [Russian Federal Aviation and Space Agency] was built on the same principle of integrating two systems. It existed for several years, and then the idea completely discredited itself. That would be akin to merging Roskosmos [Federal Space Agency] with the railway industry, on the principle that both have to do with transportation. In reality, they have different economic systems of operation, different regulatory frameworks, different technical approaches and technical schools. Instead of addressing specific problems in space and aviation, some sort of hodgepodge would result that would completely confuse everyone."

A few days before, apparently again in the heat of his own self-promotion, the deputy prime minister in a showcase attack slammed Roskosmos chief Vladimir Popovkin. Several days prior to that, Popovkin had received a stern reprimand from Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. As for Rogozin, just recently he received a dressing down from [Russian] President Vladimir Putin. The situation around the Russian space sector is increasingly reminiscent of a hot potato being tossed from hand to hand in a circle: Everyone blames, reproves and criticizes each other, but there is still total disarray as before.

"Dmitry Rogozin disagreed with a report by Roskosmos on the causes of an accident involving a Proton-M rocket that crashed immediately after launch from Baikonur," news agencies reported ...

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