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Senior Russian Space Official Resigns After Failed Launch

The head of Russia's leading rocket manufacturer is stepping down after a failed launch.

The head of Russia's national space agency Roskosmos, Vladimir Popovkin, said that Vladimir Nestorov, the general director of the state-controlled Khrunichev company that builds Proton rockets, had submitted his resignation.

Nestorov's resignation comes after a Proton booster rocket last week failed to place two communications satellites into orbit after its launch, the latest failure to dog Russia's space industry.

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has harshly criticized the industry, noting that Russia has had seven failed launches in less than two years, resulting in the loss of 10 satellites.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, and ITAR-TASS