Russian Proton-M Launch Failure

Russia's Proton Crashes with a Trio of Navigation Satellites, Russian Space Web

"A Proton-M with a Block DM-03 upper stage lifted off as scheduled from Pad No. 24 at Site 81 in Baikonur Cosmodrome on July 2, 2013, at 06:38:22 Moscow Time (on July 1, 10:38 p.m. EDT).

The rocket started veering off course right after leaving the pad, deviating from the vertical path in various directions and then plunged to the ground seconds later nose first. The payload section and the upper stage were sheered off the vehicle moments before it impacted the ground and exploded. The flight lasted no more than 30 seconds."

New spectacular video:

"During the evacuation, some of the personnel at Baikonur took photos of a reddish cloud spanning over the main road to the facility. In Baikonur itself, the city's administration advised residents not to leave their homes, deactivate air conditioners and close tightly all doors and windows due to "a cloud of unburned propellant moving toward towns of Baikonur, Akai and Tyuratam." Fortunately, starting rain apparently helped to dissipate the cloud, Kazakh media reported."

Marc's note: No one was hurt, and it appears the town which is 57KM from the launch site is fine. The investigation is already underway. It's too early to tell how this will impact launches to the ISS. Progress 52 is scheduled to launch on July 24th and Expedition 37/38 is scheduled to launch September 25th. The Proton which launched from launch pad 24 at launch complex 81 crashed near launch complex 200 which is some distance, over 20km, from the Soyuz launch pad in area 254 as shown on the map below.

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This page contains a single entry by Marc Boucher published on July 3, 2013 7:15 AM.

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