A Siberian homeowner who miraculously escaped serious injury when a fragment of a Russian communication satellite crashed through the roof of his house had to fix it himself as the authorities wrangle over compensation.
A $500-million Meridian satellite that was launched on Friday from the Plesetsk space center in northern Russia on board a Soyuz-2 carrier rocket crashed near the Siberian city of Tobolsk minutes after liftoff.
More than 10 satellite fragments were found in an area some 100 kilometers from the city of Novosibirsk.
One, a titanium ball of about five kilograms, crashed through the roof of the single-family home in the Ordyn district.
The homeowner, Andrei Krivorukov, had gone out to the yard to fetch firewood minutes before impact.
The village administration promised to do repairs at its own expense but did not.
Novosibirsk Region Governor Vasily Yurchenko said on Tuesday the compensation should be paid by the Federal Space Agency Roscosmos whose satellite and booster rocket had caused the damage.
“The entire damage caused by the fall of spacecraft fragments on residential buildings and social infrastructure should be paid by Roscosmos. It is an independent economic entity,” he said.
Roscosmos declined to comment on the governor’s remarks.
Tired of waiting in subzero temperatures, Krivorukov had to fix the roof himself.
Meridian-series communication satellites are used for both civilian and military purposes. They are designed to provide communication between vessels, airplanes and coastal stations on the ground, as well as to expand a network of satellite communications in the northern regions of Siberia and the Russian Far East. These satellites are designed to replace the older Molniya-series.
The Soyuz-2 is an upgraded version of the Soyuz rocket, which has been a workhorse of Russia's manned and unmanned space programs since the 1960s.