Topic: Russian space programs
Medvedev said he will name officials responsible for Monday's failed satellite launch next week© RIA Novosti. Oleg Urusov
MOSCOW, August 9 (RIA Novosti)
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Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Thursday he will name officials responsible for Monday's failed satellite launch next week.
"I would like to hold a meeting on this next week. It will be prepared by the appropriate deputy prime minister and structures. They are tasked with reporting who should be punished and what to do next," Medvedev told a government meeting in Moscow.
He also said Russia's space failures "could not be tolerated anymore."
"I don't know what the cause of the failures is - be it a [faulty] upper stage, mechanical damage, elementary slackness... but this could not be tolerated anymore," a visibly angered Medvedev said
"We are losing authority and billions of rubles," he added.
Russia has suffered a string of space failures in recent years, including the failed Mars probe Phobos-Grunt in January.
On Monday, the Proton-M carrying two telecommunications satellites spun out of control after its Briz-M upper stage failed to gain speed.
A source in the government panel told Kommersant daily a fault in the Briz-M's fuel pipe was to blame.
The pipe might have been "mechanically damaged" or held some foreign objects, the source said.
The failed launch has prompted Russian space agency Roscosmos to suspend all Proton-M launches until the findings of the inquiry are returned.
Roscosmos declined to comment on the cause of the failure when contacted by RIA Novosti.
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