There is talk in the government and expert circles about the return of the space industry under the control of the Federal Space Agency. And there are good reasons for that.
Roscosmos became a state corporation in 2015 through the transformation of the Federal Space Agency. Then this decision seemed controversial to many. Budget money, as soon as it gets into a state corporation, becomes part of its authorized capital and becomes private property. This is where state control ends, and no one – not even the Accounts Chamber – can check these structures.
“It turns out that a state corporation in our country is a smooth transition from state to private administration,” noted the former head of the Accounts Chamber, Sergei Stepashin. – But space cannot be given into private hands. This means that the option with the creation of a separate joint-stock company as a customer is unacceptable. “
State funds that fall into the state corporation actually dissolve in it. This allows the management of the corporation to choose for themselves what and how much to spend money, reporting to the authorities only on the largest projects. This sinecure has whetted the appetites of many. Stakeholders lobbied for the idea of a state space corporation, which predetermined the fate of our once glorious space industry.
The number of rocket launches began to decline. In the last days of 2019, Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov said that Russia’s space launch programs this year have been completed by slightly more than 50%. Although back in February, the head of the state corporation Dmitry Rogozin boasted to the president that in 2019 Roscosmos plans to double the number of launches: “In 2019, Vladimir Vladimirovich, 45 launches are to be launched – more than doubling. The workload is great, but I think we can handle it. “
How! The next year, 2020, became a “record” year for the industry – only 17 space launches took place. According to RIA Novosti, there were fewer launches only at the dawn of cosmonautics from 1957 to 1961 – from two to nine annually.
“Roscosmos State Corporation had to solve three tasks: to raise labor productivity, reduce the accident rate of launches and expand its share in the international space market,” says Ivan Moiseev, head of the Institute for Space Policy. “But it turned out differently: we almost lost the entire international market.”
The productivity of the enterprises also almost did not increase, as for accidents … The media reported on abnormal situations with our spaceships annually over these six years, or even several times. And how many accidents remained under the heading “For official use” ?! And what is most characteristic of the current state of the industry is the growing number of scandals associated with large-scale embezzlement. According to Prosecutor General Yuri Chaika, 163 criminal cases have been initiated since the beginning of the construction of the Vostochny cosmodrome. And in 2019 alone, the amount of stolen goods exceeded 20 billion rubles! At a meeting with members of the government, even the president did not contain his amazement. “They steal hundreds of millions!” – Vladimir Putin threw up his hands.
In 2018, already under General Director D. Rogozin, the head of the Accounts Chamber, Alexei Kudrin, said that Roscosmos holds the record for the scale of financial violations. According to him, we are talking about billions of dollars in embezzlement. “Procurement procedures are carried out incorrectly, prices are inflated, a lot of funds have been sacrificed for unfinished objects or for objects that are simply idle, funds on accounts have not been used for months. In addition, several billions have been lost – that is, in fact, stolen, ”Kudrin emphasized.
In August 2019, Deputy Director General of the Energia State Space Corporation Alexei Beloborodov and two of his subordinates were detained in a fraud case. Prior to that, the Babushkinsky District Court of Moscow ruled to re-arrest Sergey Lemeshevsky, the general director of the Lavochkin Scientific and Production Association, who was accused of embezzling more than 330 million rubles.
In May 2021, the Main Investigation Department of the Investigative Committee of Russia for the city of Moscow completed an investigation into the theft of more than 1 billion rubles in the industry. According to the case file, Vladimir Solntsev, the general director of RSC Energia, stole the indicated amount using a government contract for the creation of a scientific and energy module for the International Space Station.
Alas, the once the best space complex in the world, the pride of the country, created by generations of wonderful Soviet designers, engineers, workers, turned out to be the property of some legally murky state corporation, where people hungry for money began to take it away. Meanwhile, D. Rogozin, a noted patriot with a journalistic education, sang to the president something like: “And on Mars apple trees will bloom – ours!”
All this would be funny if it weren’t so sad … In the days of S. Korolev and Y. Gagarin, the road to space was not just a great dream of mankind. She was almost the main banner of our country, the embodiment of the aspirations of its citizens for a new life. Precisely because we all really wanted this, we did it.
And today, millions of Russian citizens have neither an image of the future, nor hopes, nor the desire to look into the starry sky. The dream of mankind was exchanged for rubles and dollars and began to be pulled into our pockets. What kind of flights to Mars are there ?!