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12:54 GMT +3 hours22 December 2014
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Popovkin replaces Perminov at Russian space agency

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Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin appointed former First Deputy Defense Minister Vladimir Popovkin as head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos on Friday, replacing Anatoly Perminov.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin appointed former First Deputy Defense Minister Vladimir Popovkin as head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos on Friday, replacing Anatoly Perminov.

Popovkin is a former Commander of the Russian Space Forces. Perminov, 65, will retire, as state officials are not usually allowed to serve after this age. Earlier this year he refuted rumors that he would retire.

Rumors of Perminov's resignation first emerged in December following the loss of three Glonass-M satellites meant to complete the formation of an important Russian navigation system, similar to the U.S.-made Global Positioning System (GPS).

Perminov was reprimanded for not enforcing all the necessary pre-launch safety procedures and failing to spot a mistake in calculations that led to the carrier rocket veering off course and crashing into the Pacific Ocean, destroying the additional satellites needed for the Glosnass network.

MOSCOW, April 29 (RIA Novosti )