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Russia’s Space Agency Is Shrinking, Losing Business, And Riddled With Fraud

Russia's Space Agency Is Shrinking, Losing Business, And Riddled With Fraud

Tsarizm has written extensively over the past few years regarding Russia’s space agency, Roscosmos, and its staggering loss of market share in the commercial space launch business to SpaceX. Once a shining emblem of pride for the Kremlin, the agency is also now a vehicle for ripping off the Russian tax payer as billions have been funneled out of the country by corrupt executives, according to internal audits.

Once boasting of over 60% market share for commercial satellite launches, Roscosmos now has shrunk to around 30% of the global market.

Prosecutors uncovered 1.6 billion rubles ($24.6 million) worth of fraud in the Roscosmos and the Rostec state-run defense corporation last year. Overall, fraud involving Russian state-run space and defense corporations totaled $1 billion in 2018, according to prosecutors, reported The Moscow Times.

“There’s no end in sight, billions are stolen” from Roscosmos, Investigative Committee chief Alexander Bastrykin was quoted as saying by the Govorit Moskva radio station Wednesday.

“It’s a very simple scheme: The money is first moved abroad, then the family leaves, and then the defendant follows [them],” he added at a forum in St. Petersburg.

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2 comments

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Walkin O'Shea May 20, 2019 at 10:07 pm

Roscosmos needs to get itself together. Time for the US and Russia to join forces and start getting serious about the next step into space. Neither country alone has the necessary monies to make space exploration viable. But together they could make a serious dent. Time to get over the old prejudices and fear mongering and get on with co-operation. Together this could happen. Time to make it work.

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Show me May 27, 2019 at 11:38 pm

I think if Roscosmos goes under, there will likely be difficult times in Russia and it could very well lead to a resurgence of the Communist Party. There is a lot of desire for socialism, just as in the US. This is primarily due to financial hardship and the idea that socialism will end financial hardship. Probably not true for most people but still, for some people, socialism under the Soviets was apparently preferable to the sometimes chaotic conditions today.
Communism probably fell due to corruption, apparently within the Communist party, since party hacks utilized it as a way to wealth. There probably is a word of warning here, in that politicians in the US find their way to wealth in the US, probably through methods that are regarded as legal, but many politicians have gone to Washington with few assets and after a couple of decades there, they seem to end up with three or four houses, big bank accounts and did very well economically.
If Space X can launch satellites more cheaply than Roscomos, then it’ll get the business. People have been very concerned that US heavy launch was dependent upon Russian engines. Apparently that is changing but Russia apparently has developed the technology for heavy lift space vehicles and earned its place in the launch business.
Now a lot of countries are entering the business. Arian Space is a leading space launch company, perhaps the leader, utilizing Arian, Soyuz (Russian) and Vega (Italian and European Space agency).
India is able to carry out orbital launches, as is China, which has a serious of “Long March” vehicles extending into the heavy lift category. Iran also has space launch capabilities for satellite launches, so a number of companies and countries are entering the field and I think Space X, or the Eldon Musk developed vehicles and United Launch Alliance and the Jeff Bezos developed rocket are probably all in competition. I think Lockheed and Boeing have been in launch business all along.
With so much competition, it’s not surprising that Roscosmos is experiencing reduced market share due to competition. Will it be able to survive. I’m sure the Russian government will support it since they need access to space, but as a commercial concern, it may be under increasing stress.

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