Not only competition from private Western companies harms the Russian space industry. Stealing from ourselves is no less pressing topic. Which underlines the high-profile case of embezzlement when creating the Russian competitor Hubble – the T-170M telescope, Kommersant writes .
According to newspaper sources, on December 24, the Interior Ministry launched an investigation into the embezzlement on a large scale. 31.1 million Russian rubles were allocated for the creation of technical equipment for the main and secondary mirrors of the T-170M telescope. Development was to be engaged in NPP INCOS LLC in the framework of the project “Spectrum UV”. But instead, the work was performed on the production facilities of NPO Lavochkin without the involvement of outside organizations.
According to the investigation, thanks to the fictitious production scheme, employees of the NGO, the Institute of Astronomy and NPP INCOS stole more than 28.5 million Russian rubles (about $ 424,869 at the current rate). But newspaper sources note that the amount of the alleged damage may still increase.
The ultraviolet telescope T-170M with a mirror diameter of 1.7 m was supposed to be a direct competitor to the American Hubble telescope.