Report: Rogozin to Become New Head of Roscosmos

Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin. (Credit: A. Savin)

It appears as those celebrating the dumping of Dmitry Rogozin as overseer of the Russian space program may have been doing their vodka Jell-O shots too soon.

According to the Google Translate version of this article, the bombastic Rogozin — who had been overseeing the space and defense sectors as deputy prime minister — has been offered the opportunity to take over Roscosmos, the government corporation that runs the nation’s space program.

The offer came after he was dumped from the Cabinet for Vladimir Putin’s fourth term as president.

Rogozin would replace Igor Komarov, a former auto industry executive who was brought in as deputy head of Roscosmos in 2013 and placed in charge of consolidating the space industry. Komarov became head of Roscosmos in January 2015.

Rogozin was among a number of high-level government officials placed under sanctions by the United States following the invasion of Ukraine and annexation of Crimea. In response, he tweeted that NASA should send it astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) using trampolines instead of flying aboard Russian Soyuz spacecraft. Rogozin didn’t follow through on the implied threat.

The Roscosmos gig appears to be a pretty lucrative one. The website Crime Russia reports that Komarov’s income totaled almost 109 million rubles ($1.76 million), including 71.5 million rubles ($1.15 million) from his job at Roscosmos. His income from other sources was not disclosed.

“The official owns five plots of land with the total area of almost 12 sq m, a house of 2.5 thousand sq m, an apartment (118 sq m), a gas pipeline section, and non-residential premises,” the website reported. “The Roscosmos head’s car fleet includes LADA Largus and Mercedes-Benz Viano.”

  • Michael Halpern

    So they are putting the guy who said that they shouldn’t try to compete commercially with SpaceX the keys to their launch industry..

  • Douglas Messier

    You say that like it’s a bad thing.

  • Michael Halpern

    Bad for them

  • Ignacio Rockwill

    Well. Huh.

  • Jacob Samorodin

    And meanwhile the Russian military is receiving more funds to militarize space….With Putin’s blessing…Now let’s see what the Russian phrase for firing a laser at a US Keyhole and Lacross satellite is.

  • ThomasLMatula

    It’s no worst then giving NASA billions for the SLS/Orion. Both are acting like the auto industry when “crazy” Henry came along and turned it upside down. Or the aeronautical experts when a couple of bicycle mechanics announced they solved the problem of flight.

  • Michael Halpern

    The Dodge brothers were also bicycle mechanics, they were tapped by Henry for their dirt free bearing that helped make what would become the Model T useable on the dirt roads of the time. Back on topic I don’t doubt that all the major “space powers” will develop at least reusable first stages over the next decade or so, adding the UK to that, as Reaction Engines is investigating turning the Skylon concept into a two stage vehicle, depending on it’s capacity, it’s possible it may become fully reusable medium lift, which will have a market even after F9 is retired and bfr is flying, BFR will be like a train or mega frieghter, smaller vehicles will be like semi trucks and air frieght. With BFR it makes sense to prioritize on a few sets of inclinations that will satisfy the most customers but not necessarily all,

  • windbourne

    As trump has learned, Roz here is learning that being friends with Putin is profitable.

  • 76 er

    There’s a Russian documentary titled ‘Angara – The Russian Super Rocket’ streaming on Amazon Prime. This was produced in December 2014. Those interested in Rogozin can listen as he extols the rocket as a way to maintain Russia’s lead in the commercial space launch market. A follow-up documentary on why the Angara hasn’t flown again doesn’t seem to be available.

  • ThomasLMatula

    Yes, and Ford’s first car, the Quadcycle was two bikes put togther with an internal combustion engine in between. Folks don’t really appreciate the debt both avaition and automobiles owe to the bicycle industry 🙂

    Yes, the old story. Everyone says it won’t work until someone proves it does, then everyone is rushing to join in

  • Michael Halpern

    Or sometimes everyone says it can’t be made economically viable, until someone proves it can. Like Ford, SpaceX has a very healthy early lead, unlike Ford they aren’t married to their first successful product, something that nearly landed Ford in deep water.

    The question is how will Russia approach reuse, will they rehash old concepts, or will they start from scratch,

  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    The bicycle is a wonderful machine that the human interacts with at the tactile level. It’s ability to transmit human motive power into smooth gear transmitted power that translates into a stunning visual and aerobic experience is a perfect educational tool to introduce people to mechanics. The bicycle acted as a launch point preparing the technological societies of Europe the USA and China.

  • ThomasLMatula

    Or the TU-4 Route? 🙂

  • ThomasLMatula

    Yep, and I am sure we will find that ET had something similar before they advanced on to aircraft and then starships. It’s interesting to see the ripple effects of simple inventions, like the first eye glasses and electric lights, and how they lead to jumps in technological progress for a society. One wonders were we would be today if the Ancient Greeks had bicycles or hot air balloons.

  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    …. And coffee. 🙂

    The Greeks and Romans were like the Chinese practicing the roots of modern technology as forms of art. I think it was human slavery that kept the nascent technologies of the era from breaking out. That, and the development of land ownership by the masses had a lot to do with it as well. The “Enlightenment” mattered quite a bit as well. Having a school of thought to prop up what could have otherwise only been a blip in the arts mattered deeply. All one has to do is look at what happened to the societies that did not participate in that movement. The West would be more like Russia if we had arisen without The Enlightenment. Unlike many other intellectual movements, that one was real.

  • Search

    So that’s what friendship looks like? Cold War starting up again? Huh could have fooled me. Lets ask Al Gore he might know more. But I digress…

  • ThomasLMatula

    Yes, coffee did play an important role, the early coffee houses became meeting places between entrepreneurs and investors who exchanged information, stock and ideas. Lloyds of London was only one of many enterprises to emerge from the coffee houses of the era. The patrons also created a market for the first newspapers, making them also the primitive prototype of the Internet cafes of current generation.

    Slavery did had a role, not only as cheap labor, but also because as a lot of the business affairs in the ancient world was left to Slaves to manage while the Masters focused on philosophy, politics and war.

    Another factor also missing in Greece and Rome was the emergence of the joint stock company that made it easier to raise the capital needed for new enterprises. Most of the exploration done before the mid-1800’s was by joint stock companies looking for opportunities in resources and trade.

    Finally, another change that was an a real incentive for technological progress that emerged in England in the early 17th Century was the development of an administered patent law and accompanying mindset that individuals should actually profit from new inventions, instead of the King/Queen just patting them on the head and giving them a medal while taking control of it. Or, if they had good court connections, a strict monopoly with the crown getting a nice slice of the profits.

  • 76 er

    Yeah, and also remember the TU-144 Concordski…

  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    Philosophy is bunk. It’s useless. Once it gave birth to physics its utility was done. For as much as philosophy kept alive before the advent of the hard sciences, it also held back. And I agree slavery was integral in that process. It kept the intellectuals isolated from the real physical word so they could ignore the reality right in front of their eyes and not test their ideas against real world experiment. Think how long Aristotle’s theories of metaphysics prevented a capable budding early mechanical physicist from playing with falling balls and developing timing devices and making use of inclined planes (children’s toys) to test the basics of motion. As for the militarism of the day, like today it was very much a mixed bag, the losers lose and most of the time the winners don’t know what to do with their win. I have a “Virginia Slims” attitude to classical antiquity, we’ve come a long way baby.

  • ThomasLMatula

    Yes, the nice thing about folks having money which the King/Queen is not able to grab easily (Parliament was a barrier in that era, and “firing” King Charles help enforced its power) is it encourages a certain freedom of thought. It was no accident that the Enlightenment followed the wealth creation that resulted from the globalization of the economy in the 16th Century by entrepreneurs. The Protestant Reformation, which was also enabled by it, was also critical since it decentralize authority over what folks thought, breaking the monopoly of the Catholic Church.

    Hopefully the wealth generated from the emerging Solar System economy with create a similar Enlightenment, providing alternatives from government funding without all its attached political baggage and centralized funding decisions. We are already seeing the first wave of that with Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk challenging NASA’s “wisdom” that spending money on reusable launch systems is not viable.

  • ThomasLMatula

    You are implying that it isn’t just coincidence that it looked similar, just as with the Buran 🙂

    I wonder how many Chinese and Russian engineers are studying pictures of the Falcon 9 trying to learn its secrets…

  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    My understanding of 16th cen economics is limited. My knowledge of that era is more cultural/religious. I have a better understanding of 18th cen global economics from biographies and histories of early Americans and the politics/history of the founding of the United States. I only have vague notions about economic power shifting from the Middle East and Venice to the naval powers of Northern Europe.

    But yes, expansion into the Solar System is going to be a mind bender for humanity. We’re already seeing it’s effects run deep on culture, the arc of history, economics, and military matters. Religion has been a real holdout, but then again it’s only been ~90 years since the birth of modern aerospace. Space may be taking some people away from religion, but the real impact will come when it starts spawning religions. Musk and Bezos are building the foundations for a space opera bigger than the Apollo project, when people start flying again and having adventures I expect that wave to crash on the greater culture with bigger result than Apollo but this time it will tied into the economy and there’ll be a synergy between a cultural movement and making money. For all the good and bad that brings, my old age is not going to be boring.

  • duheagle

    Russia is getting poorer and less populous with every passing year. What Russia does is already nearly irrelevant. The next two or three decades will simply underline this point. That Rogozin will be running Roscosmos pretty much guarantees continuing confusion to the enemy. The only hostile power whose future space endeavors may prove consequential is China.

  • duheagle

    Yes. Raise a glass to the infirmity and senescence of the Russian space program.

  • 76 er

    That’s an interesting story about the Soyuz, hadn’t heard it before. Didn’t know that the Bay of Pigs debacle had occurred only five days after Gagarin’s flight.

    Yes, competitors of every stripe exist and like Halpern says, we will see in due course their approach to reuse.

  • ThomasLMatula

    Yes, we are indeed in what looks to be an exciting period as Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos shake things up in space and make it economically accessible.

    BTW have you ever read/listened to Ben Bova’s “Grand Tour’ Series? It does a good job of capturing some of the excitement that may be in store for humanity as we incorporate the Solar System into the human economic sphere.

  • Michael Halpern

    Don’t underestimate national pride, it will happen, it will just take them longer. As for China, if their small launch sector pans out, specifically the parts that aren’t just branches of their missile manufacturing industry, (so basically LinkSpace which has even copied an earlier version of the SpaceX website and is attempting a VTVL first stage with i believe a 9:1 engine configuration,) maybe but the Chinese space agency is part of their military, meaning subsidizing their missile and srm industry is probably more interesting to them than a low cost reusable rocket, the only part of it that might interest them significantly is being able to control where the spent boosters hit, possibly making it harder to figure out the rocket’s path, as you wouldn’t be able to work backwards from impact zones, and such, but saving money won’t be a priority

  • ThomasLMatula

    Yes, but China also is looking at an uncertain future because of its demographic “time bomb” from its one child policy. It will be interesting to see how it deals with a decline in population, especially among those in the working age group.

  • publiusr

    If only the spindizzy had worked out so well…

  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    I have not, thanks for the pointer. He was one of my ‘must reads’ in the 80’s.

  • redneck

    I think it may be too early to write off the unknown unknowns of the world. Many nations have more available capital than SpaceX has gone through, and we have no monopoly on genius in this country. Friends and neutrals of today can become enemies of tomorrow when a conflict of interest is allowed to bloom into full hostility.

    Not to spread FUD that it will happen. Just a note of caution against complacency and hubris. A relative handful of people in the right place/time can do some amazing things. I don’t predict it will happen, but his country could drop the ball, and another could recover the fumble.

  • duheagle

    I think it’s fairly clear that Russia has already lost control of the “ball.” Said ball hasn’t yet hit the ground and bounced or tumbled yet, but it will. But the game being played is not directly analogous to North American football. The fumbled Russian “ball” may engender no scramble for its recovery. The Chinese, in particular, have a ball of their own.

    It is true we have no monopoly on genius in the U.S., but, because of the fundamental nature of the U.S., we have also never had to rely on strictly native-born genius. Genius, in fact, has historically been one of the U.S.’s most consequential imports. Elon Musk is simply a recent example, but dozens of others preceded him going back to the formative years of the Republic. Foreign-born geniuses continue to arrive on our shores. To note this is not hubris, simply recognition of an undeniable fact. The U.S. is a fundamentally better place to be than Russia or the PRC. It does not, of course, require that one be a genius to appreciate this, but it certainly doesn’t hurt.

    Russia has never had any such ability to attract genius, nor does the PRC now. With Russia’s population now only 40% that of the U.S., and declining precipitously, Russia is no longer really a U.S. rival in aggregate brainpower at whatever level one chooses to draw a line. The PRC still is because its native population is still over four times greater than that of the U.S.

  • duheagle

    I agree. China is going to run into some increasingly stiff headwinds over the next few decades. For now, at least, one of the U.S.’s greatest assets in its contest with China for world hegemony is the ancient Chinese assumption of inherent superiority and ability to outlast opponents by playing a long game. Our current job is to “arrange ourselves” – as the Italians like to put it – so that, when China finally has to face the fact that there really are new things under the sun and that the most consequential of these is the U.S., there is no danger of them making any doomed, but damaging, final effort as their immemorial political model slides beneath the waves.

  • duheagle

    National pride, absent means, isn’t going to accomplish anything. The world has seen many nations and imperia with abundant “pride” come and go. The Egypt and Rome of old are now dust. So are their opponents. Russia will join their ranks, quite possibly before this century is out.

    China has its own structural problems that will bite with increasing fierceness in coming decades. Everyone has to worry about saving money, even the U.S. China may be temporarily enjoying the illusion that it is an exception, but reality will increasingly, and steadily more rudely, say otherwise.

  • Michael Halpern

    True but i don’t doubt means will be found, and as for the saving money for China bit, there’s a reason why i don’t consider their Moon/Mars plans that big of a deal, they seem to want to make their own Saturn V, I say let them, if they were concerned with saving money, they would have started phasing out hydrazine boosters much earlier, they are only now starting to do that, the reported VTVL conversion for the LM 8 in development is telling on their commitment to RLV, with how little they seem to intend to change and how they are keeping the SRBs says they intend to do it just to say they can

  • redneck

    I don’t disagree with you on these points. My comment had more to do with a different entity that we dismiss with cause at the moment getting their act together. Similar to Japan rising literally from the ashes of WW2 to a leading economic power even though it is in relative decline now. That would have been hard to predict in 1945.

    For the sake of thought, consider a multi-nation revolution in South America that results (for once) in a new nation of liberty similar to the results of the 1776-1783 dust up. With freedom and a clean slate, large population and natural resource base, it is theoretically possible to outperform SpaceX and Blue in under a decade. I don’t predict this, just asking you to consider the theoretical capability of a free large national state without all the overseas (and entitlement) obligations of this country. Then add one driven genius with a space fixation.