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    Government wants to sack Energia space corp. head - source

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    MOSCOW, June 22 (RIA Novosti) - A Russian space industry source said Friday the government is set to seek the resignation of the president of the country's head rocket and space enterprise, Energia.

    State-controlled Energia designs Soyuz piloted spaceships and Progress carrier rockets, launches communications satellites, and operates the Russian segment of the International Space Station.

    "As far as I know, the corresponding resolution has been signed at the highest level, and Nikolai Sevastyanov has been notified," the source said.

    Energia President Sevastyanov said on the phone that the company's board of directors is scheduled to meet Friday afternoon to make a decision regarding his future.

    "The outcome of the meeting is clear to me. I will make no comment before it begins, but I will make a statement once the meeting is over," Sevastyanov said.

    The company's president unexpectedly left the Le Bourget air space show in France Wednesday for Moscow along with Energia's delegation.

    During his tenure, Sevastyanov has not been on good terms with the Federal Space Agency, a government regulator in the space industry. The Energia head has been repeatedly criticized primarily for his daring projects on Moon exploration, which the agency called lunacy and looked to restrict Sevastyanov's powers.

    Yury Koptev, a former head of the Federal Space Agency and the current chief of the defense industry department at the Ministry of Industry and Energy, is believed to be the most likely successor to Sevastyanov.

    Energia's management committee has meanwhile expressed their confidence in and support for Sevastyanov and decided to apply to First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov to set up an interdepartmental commission to examine relations between the Space Agency and Energia, and the feasibility of Sevastyanov's dismissal.

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