Russian President Vladimir Putin dismissed by decree, Friday, July 15, the boss of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, Dmitri Rogozin. The latter was known for his abrasive style and outrageous nationalism. Dmitry Rogozin, 58, will be replaced by Yuri Borissov, 65, who until then held the portfolio of Deputy Prime Minister in charge of the Russian military-industrial complex, which also includes the space sector.
Yuri Borissov had replaced Dmitri Rogozin in this position when the latter arrived at the head of Roscosmos in 2018. In this position, Dmitri Rogozin stood out from the dull universe of Russian bureaucrats with memes published on Twitter or rowdy tirades and provocateurs on Telegram.
In five years in this position, however, he has not managed to stem the decline of the Russian space industry, undermined by obsolescence, lack of innovation and corruption. Russia thus lost, in 2020, the monopoly of sending into space with its aging but reliable Soyuz launchers and vessels with the arrival on the scene of SpaceX of the billionaire Elon Musk.
Since the Russian offensive against Ukraine on February 24, Dmitri Rogozin, who was also Russian ambassador to NATO, distinguished himself by his belligerent declarations with regard to the West. In particular, he praised the destruction that could be inflicted by Russian nuclear weapons.
Russian-Western cooperation in the space field has also been weighed down by Russia’s assault on its neighbor. However, the International Space Station (ISS) “remained this little bubble in space, outside the ground wars. A place where Russia, the United States and Europe collaborate”commented on franceinfo Mathilde Fontez, editor-in-chief of the scientific magazine Epsiloon. “Even though the scientific collaborations between German and Russian astronauts were interrupted. Everything went normally.”
Without making the link with the departure of Dmitri Rogozin, NASA announced Friday to resume joint flights with the Russians to the ISS, in order to ensure “continuity of operations” station, despite US efforts to isolate Moscow. Two American astronauts will fly aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket on two separate missions, the first of which is scheduled for September. Two Russian cosmonauts will also fly aboard SpaceX rockets, a first.