Putin orders 'radical' Russian space improvements: spokesman
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has instructed the Russian space agency to "radically" improve its oversight of space craft production, his spokesman said Thursday following Russia's latest space mishap.
"Putin has instructed Roskosmos to radically change the quality control and inspection system it uses during the production of spacecraft," Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told AFP.
Peskov said Putin's instructions particularly covered "the manufacture of individual units made for (specific) launches."
The instructions mark Putin's first public response to a launch accident Wednesday that saw a space ship carrying tonnes of cargo for the International Space Station (ISS) crash into Siberia shortly after blast-off.
A Russian space official said earlier the Roskosmos space agency has decided to ground all Soyuz rockets used in such missions until the investigation into the accident is complete.
Russia is now the sole nation capable of transporting humans to the ISS after the withdrawal of the US space shuttle in July.
© 2011 AFP