RIA Novosti commentator Alina Chernoivanova
The recent string of spaceflight accidents in Russia is the symptom of a deep crisis in the nation's aerospace industry. Experts say it's time to tone down the rhetoric about Russia being a "great space power." Russia must overcome possible new setbacks and work hard in order to return to the level of quality of 20 years ago.
Russia has lost six spacecraft in a matter of nine months. Last December, a Proton-M booster rocket failed to put three Glonass-M satellites into orbit. The launch of the Rokot booster rocket carrying a military geodesic satellite Geo-IK-2 ended in failure in February. These two accidents cost Anatoly Perminov his job. The long-serving official, who had been at the helm of the Russian Space Agency for seven straight years, left his job before the end of his contract and the completion of the industry overhaul he was supposed to carry out.