Roscosmos, Russia's official space agency, recently confirmed that one of its officials, Yevgeny Mikrin, recently passed away. About a month before the official's death, reports indicated that Mikrin tested positive twice for COVID-19.
Mikrin oversaw Russia's human spaceflight program. He was also the deputy head of the Energia Rocket and Space Corporation. On May 5, Roscosmos officially announced through a press release that Mikrin had passed away at the age of 65 years.
Mikrin's Cause Of Death
Roscosmos did not go into detail regarding the cause of Mikrin's death. Instead, the agency looked back on his accomplishments and contributions to the development of the Russian space industry. Although Mikrin's cause of death was not clearly indicated in the statement, Dmitry Rogozin, the director-general for Roscosmos, noted that Mikrin was sick and received intense medical care before he passed away.
"The best doctors fought for his life for several weeks, all the possible means and methods were used, but unfortunately the illness gained the upper hand," Rogozin said in a statement. "In this black moment, I express my sincere condolences to Yevgeny Mikrin's family."
Testing Positive For Coronavirus
Although the nature of Mikrin's illness was not confirmed in the statement, Russian news agency TASS reported in April that the official tested positive twice for COVID-19. The report about Mikrin's test results was released after the official witnessed the launch of the Soyuz MS-16 mission to the International Space Station (ISS). The objective of the mission was to transport two cosmonauts and one NASA astronaut to the ISS.
The launch was carried out at the Baikonur Cosmodrome spaceport in Kazakhstan on April 9. For the event, Mikrin flew from Moscow to the Baikonur Cosmodrome in a government plane along with Rogozin.
COVID-19 In Roscosmos
If Mikrin died due to the coronavirus, then he would be considered as the latest casualty within Roscosmos. On May 1, Rogozin shared new data regarding the number of cases within the agency. According to Rogozin, 173 confirmed coronavirus cases had been diagnosed within Roscosmos. The director-general noted that 16 people have already recorded while the number of deaths within the space agency has already reached six.