Space technology equipment was stolen from Russian Rocket and Space Corporation (RSC) Energia, RBC reported.
During the May holidays between 1st-5th, space technology equipment was stolen, including a module for the Russian segment of the ISS. The incident happened at the Moscow region near Korolev.
The state corporation confirmed this information.
“We have become aware of the fact of an unauthorized entry into the S.P. Korolev facility of RSC Energia. All materials on the fact of illegal infiltration were transferred to the bodies of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia so that it can make the respective procedural decision,” the official representative of Roskosmos Vladimir Ustimenko said.
The perpetrators were also alleged caught on video by surveillance cameras.
Ustimenko refused to provide any additional information regarding the theft and the amount of damages that was suffered, because the police were conducting an investigation and that Roscosmos and RSC Energia are fully complying to the authorities.
RBC cited an anonymous source from Roscosmos who claimed that among the stolen equipment were circuit boards [cards], including the science and energy module, which is designed to provide the Russian segment of the ISS with electricity, as well as Swiss-produced equipment.
“They took three bags of boards [cards]. After this incident, an order was issued by the Director-General on the safety of material assets, which was introduced to all employees. An alarm was set off following the incident,” the source claimed.
Estimating the cost of the stolen equipment was complicated because the Russian space-class circuit board can cost between hundreds of thousands to millions of rubles, according to Pavel Pushkin, director of the Kosmokurs design company.
“At the same time, it is difficult to sell them for that amount, since they are valuable only in a specific scenario – that is in space,” he said.
The founder of the “Open Space” community Vitaly Egorov claimed that given the high cost of space electronics, the damage can reach tens of millions of rubles.
This is another demonstration of the problems existing in the Russian space industry. In January 2019, the head of Roscosmos Dmitry Rogozin said that the enterprises under the state corporation had debts in the amount of 200 billion rubles. RSC Energia alone had outstanding debts in the amount of 30 billion. In January, RSC Energia’s CEO – Sergei Romanov left his position and was replaced by Nikolay Sevastyanov, after assuming the post for less than 12 months.
In an interview with the newspaper “Kommersant” in November 2018, Romanov said that the situation at the enterprise was “very, very difficult.”
“The deadlines for the implementation of major projects are, in fact, disrupted. This is a multifunctional laboratory module, a scientific and energy module, and a promising ship, the “Federation.” I will tell you honestly, I thought that I imagined the scale of the disaster, but when I plunged into all of this, I realized that the problems were much worse and much more complicated,” he confessed.
The audits of Roscosmos are on-going and so far upwards of 50 billion rubles of mismanagement of funds have been discovered for 2018, which is actually a lot less than 2017’s 800 billion.
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- Billion Rubles Violations Discovered In Roscosmos In 2018 Actually Lower Than 2017’s 800 Billion
- Corruption In Russian State-Linked Industry And Miraculous Management Decisions