Given the likelihood that Nauka's errant thruster firing involved human error, that would be at least the third major problem in less than three years resulting from shoddy work. In October 2018, the launch of Russian cosmonaut Aleksey Ovchinin and NASA astronaut Nick Hague was aborted after a Soyuz booster failure, and the crew had to make an emergency return to Earth. A subsequent investigation found that the side-mounted booster had been improperly mated to the core stage of the Soyuz rocket.
At around the same time, Russia announced that there was a small hole in a different Soyuz vehicle, already attached to the International Space Station. “We are able to narrow down the cause to a technological mistake of a technician," Rogozin said of the problem.
These technical errors have occurred as Roscosmos has had difficulty paying its engineers and technicians a living wage.