Yuri Nikolayevich Koptev

(b. 1940)

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(1940– )

The director general of Rosaviakosmos from its founding in 1992 until 2004. He oversaw the deorbiting of the Mir space station voyage, and the controversial visit of US industrialist and space tourist Dennis Tito to the International Space Station. He is credited with the recovery of the declining Russian space programme to pre-1993 levels. In 2004, he became chief of Rosoboronexport, Russia's state arms exporter.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics.

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