Joined: 11/07/2002 14:36:40 Posts: 23772 Location: Hampshire, UK
Posted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 8:31 am Post subject: Russia suffers another launch failure as rocket explodes
Bad news for Russia's GLONASS satellite navigation network after a launch at Kazakhstan’s Baikonur cosmodrome failed shortly lift-off on Sunday. The Proton-M rocket booster began to tip over and break up before exploding resulting in a total loss of the three GLONASS satellites that were being carried into orbit.
Live video from the launch shows the launch vehicle begin to deviate from its planned flight path and, shortly afterwards, with the rocket boosters at full power, the upper stage begins to break up.
It is reported that more than 600 tons of toxic propellant may have fallen on the launch site after the break-up and a full evacuation took place. This is a huge loss to the GLONASS program and follows a similar failure of the same rocket design and the loss of another three GLONASS satellites in 2010.
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