President Medvedev Suggests Punishing Those Responsible for Phobos-Grunt Debacle

The Phobos-Grunt That Wasn't

A Roscosmos rendering of Phobos-Grunt approaching Mars and its moon Phobos.Roscosmos

Most of the sentiment surrounding Russia's failed Mars-bound Phobos-Grunt has been a mix of guarded hopefulness that Roscosmos will recover the mission--currently stalled in Earth orbit--and sympathy for a space program that's been dogged by these kinds of failures. Not so for Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who is reportedly looking to mete out some serious punishment for the high-profile debacle.

But don't worry, Medvedev ominously told reporters, it's not like anybody is going to be shot. Quoted by Reuters, Medvedev said "I am not suggesting putting them up against the wall like under Josef Vissarionovich (Stalin), but seriously punish either financially or, if the fault is obvious, it could be a disciplinary or even criminal punishment." Because nothing motivates the people quite like a passing mention of Stalin.