Russian space sector plagued by astronomical corruption | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

Russian space sector plagued by astronomical corruption

With millions of dollars missing and officials in prison or fleeing the country, Russia's space sector is at the heart of a staggering embezzlement scheme that has dampened ambitions of recovering its Soviet-era greatness.

For years, Moscow has tried to fix the industry that was a source of immense pride in the USSR. While it has bounced back from its post-Soviet collapse and once again become a major world player, the Russian space sector has recently suffered a series of humiliating failures.

And now, massive corruption scandals at state space agency Roscosmos have eclipsed its plans to launch new rockets and lunar stations.

"Billions (of rubles) are being stolen there, billions," Alexander Bastrykin, the powerful head of Russia's Investigative Committee -- Russia's equivalent of the FBI -- said in mid-May.

Investigations into corruption at Roscosmos have been ongoing "for around five years and there is no end in sight," he added.

In the latest controversy, a senior space official appears to have fled Russia during an audit of the research centre he headed.

Yury Yaskin, the director of the Research Institute of Space Instrumentation, left Russia for a European country in April where he announced his resignation, the Kommersant paper reported.

He feared the discovery of malpractice during an inspection of the institute, according to the newspaper's sources.

Roscosmos confirmed to AFP that Yaskin had resigned but did not clarify why. His Moscow institute is involved in developing the Russian satellite navigation system GLONASS designed to compete with the American GPS system.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This means a lot of sadness, and back-tracking for the good, principled scientists who did not go down this road.

But unfortunately, corruption and toadyism, haunt the American space program as well.

And the primary reason for this, is that in the US, the military/industrial complex, is allowed to fund state and national elections, in order to get their equipment chosen, rather than the equipment of another company, which might even be both better, and less expensive.

So the "little guys" who could do better, are frozen out of the process, and this is really an horrifically stupid way for a country to attempt to build its weaponry program.

How this translates in the US, is that those executives of the "bigger, badder" companies, don't believe that equipment needs to be delivered in a timely manner, and is sometimes obsolete by the time of delivery; the equipment doesn't have to work as promised; and ginormous cost over-runs are perfectly fine.

This has to stop, and immediately, if the US is ever going to have the weaponry "technological edge" over that of China and Russia.