So long Sevastianov, thanks for all the ludicrous plans

So it is done, Nikolai “we can take tourists to the Moon” Sevastyanov is gone as S. P. Korolev Rocket and Space Corporation Energia’s president and general designer following a Soviet style round of voting at the 31 July special shareholders meeting.The result was unsurprising as in June Sevastyanov was suspended, Alexander Strekalov had been made acting Energia president and subsequently appointed Vitaly Alexandrovich Lopota as first vice president and designer general.
But then Flight had begun hearing about moves to push Sevastyanov out much, much earlier.
More bad news for Sevastyanov came when on 14 July Energia announced that the annual general shareholders meeting had rejected the company’s 2006 performance report and annual accounts.
So then we knew Sevastyanov’s days were truly numbered.
Interestingly the 31 July decision makes Lopota company president but its not clear if he remains designer general, which in the Russian system is sort of chief executive. Neither does this RIA Novosti report make things any clearer.
But I wouldn’t be surprised if Lopota is now designer general and president, especially when Soviet space programme original and colleague of the famous Sergei Pavlovich Korolev, Boris Efseevich Chertok, speaks warmly on your behalf – then you know you have a good chance of getting all the jobs.
What RIA Novosti’s report does say is that Lopota wants to set up an anti-crisis management team because “the course which the corporation has been on for the past two years has led to bankruptcy instead of prosperity.” Tough words and a disturbing statement if the company’s finances are that bad.
More familiar was the criticism that Sevastyanov presented company plans that were unrealistic, in terms of Energia’s resources, were not co-ordinated with the Russian government’s space programme and made silly statements about private lunar exploration. There is a suggestion that he was spending money on this nonsense too.
So I for one am glad he is gone and hopefully Lopota will bring credibility back to Energia and see it work with the European Space Agency on the more interesting Crew Space Transportation System.

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One Response to So long Sevastianov, thanks for all the ludicrous plans

  1. Chris Ringwood 4 September, 2008 at 1:37 am #

    Odd. No one says a dickie-bird about lack of funding for FSA; Energia’s main client. Neither does anyone talk of the problems involved with re-inventing the wheel either. What was the man supposed to do? Minor mod’s to Soyuz Booster and spacecraft? In the hope the more work and revenue would follow. Observing the scramble for commercial funds in what can only be described as farcical circumstances; couple it to burgeoning Russian Oil revenues and once more we have scapegoat hunting. At least Energia’s design staff were kept busy, and not forced to seek employmmet in the Refrigeration Industry or suchlike. It was nothing more that he unwillingness of the FRG to fund space endeavor; look at Angara – a purely Russian launch vehicle. Still in the conceptual stage… ICGO&O…!

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