Ex-Roscosmos chief Popovkin dies

The former head of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), Vladimir Popovkin, has died, the agency told Interfax-AVN on Wednesday.

The former head of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), Vladimir Popovkin, has died, the agency told Interfax-AVN on Wednesday.

"Vladimir Aleksandrovich Popovkin has died aged 57 after an illness," a source said.

Popovkin was removed from the office of the Roscosmos chief in October 2013. He was replaced by Oleg Ostapenko, a former deputy defense minister. The changes in the Roscosmos administration were due to the restructuring of the space rocket industry.

Popovkin was appointed as the head of the Roscosmos in April 2011. Prior to that he served as First Deputy Defense Minister.

Popovkin was born in the city of Dushanbe (Tajikistan) on September 25, 1957. He graduated from the Mozhaisky Military Engineering Institute in Leningrad (currently St. Petersburg) in 1979. He served at the Baikonur Cosmodrome.

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