Russia puts four engineers on trial for Proton launch failure


Please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar to the right. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.

Russia has begun the criminal trial of four engineers for their part in the launch failure of a Proton rocket six years ago, in December 2010.

According to the office of Russia’s federal Prosecutor General, employees at RKK Energia used a wrong formula during the fueling of the company’s Block DM-03 upper stage, which received 1,582 kilograms of extra liquid oxygen above the maximum allowable limit. The prosecutors allege that the department head at RKK Energia Stanislav Balakin, the unit head Aleksandr Martynov and his deputy Sergei Lomtev, while being responsible for the development of operational documentation for Block DM-03, failed to ensure that their subordinate engineer Yuri Bolshigin had completed the on-time adjustment of the computation formula controlling the operation of the fueling system.

This is not the right way to encourage good work in Russian aerospace factories. Sure, these guys screwed up, but you don’t put them on trial, you fire them and hire better people. Making them scapegoats in this way is only going to scare away the best people, who won’t want to join a high-risk industry where, if they make a mistake, they might find themselves in prison.

2 comments

  • Cotour

    I repost this video of Putin making some executives very uncomfortable when questioning them about why things are not going as planned.

    https://youtu.be/co8s0egftsc

    This is the problem with Communism, the buck can always be passed down the road or deadlines and budgets become very flexible, no one is responsible, incentive and responsibility is perverted.

    They can participate in capitalism but in the end communism, just like socialism and most other ism’s is a dead end, more zero sum game.

    “This is not the right way to encourage good work in Russian aerospace factories. ” What else do they have to use as a disincentive to not screw up? Kim Jung Un apparently just took 5 of his officials and put them in front of anti aircraft guns and literally liquidated them. Now thats incentive!

    What else do they have besides fear?

  • Orion314

    Just another fine example of how the world’s leaders seem generally impervious to what we, as mere slaves, view as
    “basic decency and common sense” The only true , logical, conclusion I can arrive at is: The world’s leaders that we “know to be” are nothing more than “knockouts” [to use a spook phrase] How else could such peons achieve such success? I withhold
    my opinion on our current POTUS until this cake has baked for some time. My fingers are truly crossed. I hope he is the best POTUS of modern times. We need it more than ever.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *