It’s official: Dmitry Rogozin, director general of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, has been dismissed.
After years of make inflammatory statements which drew international criticism, Rogozin will now be replaced. According to an official statement from the Kremlin, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree (opens in a new tab) dismissing Rogozin from office on Friday 15 July. The decree simply states that Putin “will release Dmitry Olegovich Rogozin from the post of General Director of the State Space Corporation Roscosmos“, and that the decree “enters into force from the date of its signature” (translation by Google).
A second decree (opens in a new tab) was published a minute later, announcing that “Yuri Borisov has been appointed General Director of Roscosmos State Corporation” (Google translation). Borisov has served as Russia’s deputy prime minister since 2018 and previously served as deputy defense minister.
Related: NASA condemns Russia’s use of space station for propaganda purposes
Latvian media Meduza reports (opens in a new tab) that Rogozin could now be reassigned as Putin’s chief of staff or even as a supervising administrator Territories occupied by Russia in eastern Ukraine, although these rumors remain unconfirmed.
Rogozin has made inflammatory statements in recent months as international cooperation in space has come under strain from Russia ongoing invasion of Ukraine. The former Russian space chief has made several threats at withdraw russia of the International Space Station program earlier this year after Western countries imposed significant sanctions on Russia in response to its invasion of its neighbor. None of the threats ever materialized into changes in Roscosmos policy.
Last week, Rogozin and the Russian space program drew widespread international condemnation for using the space station to spread anti-Ukrainian propaganda. NASA Administrator Bill Nelson allegedly tried to call (opens in a new tab) Rogozin to discuss the incident, but Rogozin simply said “There is nothing to say. Let the sanctions be lifted first,” according to Russian aerospace news site Aviation Explorer (Google translation).
More recently, the European Space Agency (ESA) officially terminated its cooperation with Roscosmos on the development of a life-hunting rover mission to Mars, which was originally scheduled to launch in September this year. ESA chief Josef Aschbacher said the war in Ukraine made cooperation with Russia on the program impossible.
It is still unclear how the appointment of the new head of Roscosmos, Yuri Borisov, will affect international cooperation in space.
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Post expires at 3:35pm on Thursday July 21st, 2022