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Russian President Dismisses Space Center Director

Russian then-Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (left) and Khrunichev Center chief Vladislav Nesterov confer at Khrunichev Space Center in March 2009.
The Kremlin has announced that Russian President Vladimir Putin has accepted the resignation of the director of the Khrunichev Space Center, which is responsible for manufacturing launch rockets and satellites.

Vladimir Nesterov tendered his resignation after last month's failed launches of the Express-MD2 and Telkom-3 communications satellites, which had been intended for use by commercial customers.

Nesterov had run the Space Center since November 25, 2005.

His predecessor, Aleksandr Medvedev, was dismissed after the loss of the European research satellite CryoSat in the flawed launch of a Khrunichev Rokot rocket in October 2005.

Based on reporting by RIA Novosti and Interfax