Roscosmos is the opposite of a finely tuned machine
Internal Roscosmos files stolen by Ukraine's GURMO Cyber Unit show bureaucratic roadblocks and design flaws in the ExoMars projects
The day after Roscosmos Director General Dmitry Rogozin’s interview with RT where he expressed his displeasure over U.S. and E.U. sanctions against Roscosmos companies, the State Commission ended its relationship with European satellite company OneWeb whose satellites Russian rockets were carrying into space due to OneWeb’s military contracts. Of course, according to its own internal documents, Roscosmos biggest customer is Russia’s Ministry of Defense, but that glaring hypocrisy appeared to escape Rogozin.
Rogozin also expressed disapproval about the European Space Agency’s decision to suspend the ExoMars mission with Roscosmos and instead try to find a way to do it alone. This section of his remarks has been edited for brevity (English courtesy of Google Translate):
Very disappointing. In 2020, … the Europeans could not debug the operation of the parachute system for landing in time lander, and they had huge problems with the software. Over these two years, we have finally cured all these problems and planned that at the end of the last ten days of September 2022 we will send this joint Russian-European mission to Mars.
And now here is such a trick on the part of the European Space Agency. We also abandoned the joint Russian-American mission Venera-D. We do not want to see our American colleagues there, because we do not trust them as partners.
In fact, sanctions against Roskosmos will not lead to stopping Roskosmos - it's hard to stop us, we have our own federal program, we have a customer - the Ministry of Defense. There are a lot of foreign customers who saw all these American sanctions in the coffin and do not obey them. We will now work with them absolutely openly.
Director General Rogozin mentioned technological problems with the parachute system that the “Europeans” couldn’t solve, however internal presentations obtained by Ukraine’s GURMO Offensive Cyber team in their recent breach of ROSCOSMOS show the multitude of problems that Rogozin’s own agency had amongst its various companies.
JSC NPO LAVOCHKINA
This presentation came from JSC NPO LAVOCHKINA, a State-owned defense and civilian aerospace company and the main contractor for ExoMars. Among the problems it identifies is a lack of responsiveness from JSC ISS (the Joint Stock Company Information Satellite Systems that invented GLONASS) regarding a serious problem with the Rover’s microbiological control, as well as manufacturing delays for other systems.
This presentation from the Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences calls out problems with funding (“Funding for 2019 is due in January 2019”) and inter-agency bureaucracy.
JSC NPO LAVOCHKINA
This presentation is a detailed look at why the Schiaparelli EDM lander (part of the ExoMars project) crashed on Mars in 2016.
Slide 3 describes the reasons for the emergency landing according to the European Space Agency commission that looked into it.
Pertubations from the parachute exceeded the calculated ones by two times
Navigation data was not corrected from Doppler radar
In the “saturation” mode, the gyroscope did not work in accordance with the documentation
Software error (on-board algorithm calculated the negative height)
A full-fledged landing was not carried out on a modeling stand instead of a gyroscope, its mathematical model was used, which did not correspond to the real device
The gyroscope had insufficient saturation margins
Extreme cases were not practiced at the stand
This is a 46 slide deck that shows how each of the six problems were diagnosed and solved. The deck includes speaker notes for most of the slides and is a must-read for anyone interested in Space science.
During Rogozin’s interview with RT, he brought up cybersecurity:
“Our computer networks are securely protected…. (O)ne of my demands was to strengthen cyber defenses. In principle, we are already ready, but we decided to look again carefully to see if everything has been decided in terms of our vulnerabilities.”
The Director General of Roscosmos should be aware of three things:
One - that the State Space Corporation (Roscosmos) is not as secure as he thinks, as demonstrated by the decks released in this post.
Two - that his cybersecurity defenses failed to keep GURMO hackers out of Roscosmos networks, and
Three - that the breach includes much more recent and valuable IP than has been released here. Information that will be shared with Ukraine’s allies.
Paid subscribers may download the complete version of all three decks (two of which have both English and Russian versions).
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