Are Russian space satellites failing? It’s now harder to find out

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Roscosmos Head Dmitry Rogozin before Russian-Chinese talks at the Moscow Kremlin in June.

Enlarge / Roscosmos Head Dmitry Rogozin before Russian-Chinese talks at the Moscow Kremlin in June. (credit: Mikhail Metzel/TASS via Getty Images)

One of the key themes of HBO’s new Chernobyl miniseries is the Soviet Union’s control of information. As the television series shows, the state’s warping of reality had very real consequences in terms of lives lost.

The control of information has continued into the modern Russian era, as the nation’s state television network is now planning its own series to recount the Chernobyl incident. Reportedly, a central theme of the series to be shown to Russian viewers is that American operatives infiltrated the nuclear facility and orchestrated the disaster. (There appears to be no credible evidence that this actually happened.)

This predisposition to avoid or obfuscate information that could be embarrassing to the Russian state also evidently applies to the aerospace industry, with fresh reports from the country saying the leader of Russia’s space corporation, Roscosmos, is limiting the flow of news about spaceflight activities.

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