[FPSPACE] Russia names politician to military cosmonaut corps
Thu, 9 Nov 2000 11:04:49 EST
Aerospace Daily, Nov 9, 2000
Russia names politician to military cosmonaut corps
MOSCOW - The presiding board of the Russian Aerospace Agency
has named to the military cosmonaut corps a local politician who played a
key role in setting up the agency after the Soviet Union fell.
The agency's "Collegia" named Yuri Loktionov to the air force
cosmonaut group at Star City, near Moscow, at its Oct. 19 meeting.
Loktionov was at the center of major space policy battles in the early
1990's when he was a Moscow Region member of the Council, a regional
parliament, as well as one of the key lobbyists of the Russian Supreme
Council Commission on Space and Telecommunication in the efforts that
later led to creation of the Russian Space Agency in 1993.
Loktionov's space career started at RSC Energia, where he prepared
crew flight manuals and later worked in mission control support groups.
Later he served as a consultant to Yuri Koptiev, head of the space agency,
and worked with Cryogenmash, a ground equipment manufacturer. But by
leaving Energia in 1988 he effectively lost his chance to become a
cosmonaut under the existing procedure.
Even so, Loktionov has persisted in his efforts to join the
cosmonauts' group, even though he was completely "off-system" for both
civilian and military selection and recruitment routines. In 1997-98 he
played a role as Yuri Baturin, a defense aide to former President Boris
Yeltsin, made his successful bid to fly to Mir (DAILY, Aug. 14, 1998), and
for a time was informally considered as a possible backup to Baturin'.
The Collegia decision does not necessarily mean Loktionov will actually
fly to space, as he himself admitted, because it as unclear for which
program Loktionov could be prepared.
"I can't say for sure what program I am going to be trained for,"
Loktionov told The DAILY. "If [Mir] station is working, I will go there;
otherwise, I will be training for the ISS. Actually, the [ISS] Service
Module is practically the same Mir-2 we were designing for a long time
before they even started to talk about Alpha station. And as for Mir-2, I
even got an invention certificate together with the group of engineers who
designed a new airlock structure."
- Dmitry Pieson (email@example.com)