21 Feb 2020 12:16

Roscosmos passed year without single accident in 2019 for first time in 16 years - Rogozin

MOSCOW. Feb 21 (Interfax) - Roscosmos reached the end of last year without a single accident, which was the first time in 16 years, thanks to its new corporate policy, Roscosmos head Dmitry Rogozin said at a conference of aerospace insurers on Friday.

"There were quite a few accidents" in the previous year, Rogozin said.

Rogozin said the year 2019 was not an easy one for global aerospace insurers from the angle of indemnities. European insurers were affected by the failed launch of the Vega satellite in summer 2019, their U.S. colleagues incurred losses from incidents involving low-orbit crewed ships, and there were also unsuccessful missions in China.

Rogozin assured Russian insurers and Western reinsurance companies that Roscosmos "will stay committed to the policy of transparency" in their interaction.

For instance, Roscosmos will be holding traditional annual meetings with aerospace insurers, and three international meetings will be arranged abroad in 2020. The developing dialogue between Roscosmos and the insurers "will allow them to discuss a package insurance agreement," Rogozin said.

He invited insurers to visit Vostochny Cosmodrome in the middle of this spring.

The 2020 launch plan is broader than last year's, Rogozin said. The corporation planned 18 space missions for 2018, and 25 for 2019. Some of those launches were moved to 2020.

"We delayed some of the launches due to the absence of operative necessity," Rogozin said, noting that such situations emerged, for instance, when Glonass satellites exceeded their service life. Whenever that happens, Russia either activates a reserve satellite in orbit or launches a new one. The launch of a new satellite can be postponed if it is unnecessary, he said.

Another reason for the delayed launch of space rockets is requests from manufacturers that are not ready for launching, Rogozin said.

The corporation will be paying more attention to remote sensing projects in 2020, Rogozin said. Space launches account for 4% of total revenue on the global space market, and a significant part of earnings come from processing of data supplied from orbital clusters, he said.

Roscosmos has opened a center for processing such data and plans to develop it, Rogozin said.