Russian Federal Space Agency head Anatoly Perminov said on Wednesday the agency's scheduled events dedicated to the 50th anniversary of Yury Gagarin's historic first space flight will go ahead as planned despite rumors of his imminent retirement.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov confirmed earlier on Wednesday rumors that Perminov, 65, will soon retire. State officials are not allowed to serve after this age.
"As for the festive events dedicated to the 50th anniversary of Yury Gagarin's flight, they are all prepared and will be held in full and on the planned dates," Perminov said.
Perminov, a rocket scientist who has run Roscosmos since 2004, added that his meeting with NASA chief Charles Bolden will also take place on April 15 as it was earlier agreed.
"Our meeting with NASA head Charles Bolden has been planned jointly with the U.S. space agency as part of the Russian-U.S. presidential commission on space cooperation. The meeting's agenda has been coordinated and it will be held on April 15," he said.
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 the mistake in calculations that led to the carrier rocket veering off course and crashing into the Pacific Ocean.
In March, Perminov told reporters that he was ready to retire when the time came.
MOSCOW, April 6 (RIA Novosti)