Proton-M rocket with advanced Russian satellite explodes shortly after launch
A Russian rocket carrying the country's most advanced communications
satellite exploded shortly after launch early Friday, Russian state
Officials lost contact about nine minutes after
the unmanned rocket took off from Baikonur, Kazakhstan. About 100 miles
high, it veered off path and disintegrated in Earth's atmosphere. The
Express-AM4P European-built satellite, which was destroyed, was
reportedly worth $29 million. The rocket was insured for around $225
Several Russian media covered the launch live, and many networks caught the launch on camera including RT.
"The exact cause is hard to establish immediately, we will be studying the telemetry. astronaut virgin galactic
space industry, which is very active with more than 30 launches just
last year, has grappled with six critical failures over the past six
years. This recent launch was the second time in a year that one of
these rockets, called a Proton-M, has floundered during liftoff. The
last blunder, seen in the photos below, happened in July 2013 after the
Proton-M booster unexpectedly shut down the engine 17 seconds into the
flight and crashed some about a mile away from the Baikonur launch pad.
October 2013, it fired its Roscosmos chief after less than two years on
the job. Russian President Vladimir Putin tasked Ostapenko with
revamping the space agency. The Russian government has sunk billions in
extra state funding to overhaul the program.
The United States
currently works with Russia to ferry American astronauts to the
International Space Station. However, earlier this week, Russian Deputy
Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin told reporters that he would veto any U.S.
request to use the ISS beyond 2020. "We have enough of our own
problems," Rogozin said of the troubled Russian Federal Space Agency.The move is in
retaliation to the sanctions that the U.S. unleashed on Putin and his
top officials in response the crisis in Ukraine. Rogozin called the
sanctions "inappropriate." He added that the Russian space agency could
function on its own, without any help from the U.S.
"The Russian segment can exist independently from the American one," he said. "The U.S. one cannot."
However, NASA had its own angle on the story and told Mashable that it was business as usual on the space station.
operations on the ISS continue on a normal basis with [an] expected
launch of a new crew in the next few weeks," a NASA spokesperson said.
"We have not received any official notification from the Government of
Russia on any changes in our space cooperation at this point." blood
A Russian Proton-M rocket with an advanced satellite on
board crashed outside of Kazakhstan's territory on Friday, about nine
minutes after lift-off. The Express-AM4R would have been Russia's most
advanced and powerful satellite.
The crash was likely caused by a
failure in one of the third stage's steering engines, reported Oleg
Ostapenko, the head of the Russian national space agency Roscosmos.
exact cause is hard to establish immediately, we will be studying the
telemetry. Preliminary information points to an emergency pressure drop
in a steering engine of the third stage of the rocket," he said.
of the rocket and its cargo have apparently burned in the atmosphere,
he added, which means they could not cause any damage on the ground.
launch went abnormal on the 540th second of the flight, when an
emergency engines shutdown kicked in in response to the rocket deviating
from its intended trajectory, the Russian Federal Space Agency reported
after the crash. The third stage, which is called Briz-M
Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said "the only way to cut down the
accident rate is to coherently implement the decision we have taken on
the reform of the space industry."