Proton-M/GLONASS destroyed in fiery launch failure

RSS

A Russian Proton-M carrying three GLONASS navigation system satellites was destroyed in spectacular fashion shortly after lift off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 08.32 am local time on July 2. Moments after launch the vehicle veered off course, triggering the guidance system into a maneuver that appeared to over-correct the rocket, sending it into a shallow, arcing trajectory.  

With all six RD-276 engines apparently still firing as normal, the Proton began slowly spiraling and flew horizontally for a moment before diving earthward. Seconds before impact the payload fairing and upper stage disintegrated (below)

Despite the impact and fireball no-one on the ground is thought to have been injured.

(all images Tsenki TV)

Three GLONASS satellites were previously lost in a failed launch of a Proton in December 2010. In this case a fueling error prevented the fourth stage making orbit, leading to the burn up of the vehicle over the Pacific.  

Please or Register to post comments.

What's On Space?

On Space

From The Archives

Aviation Week is approaching its 100th anniversary in 2016. In a series of blogs, our editors highlight editorial content from the magazine's long and rich history.

 

Jan 31, 2016
blog

Tupolev 104: Harsh Proof Of Rapid Soviet Progress (1956) 18

Since little detail was available of the Russian design and built Tupolev 104, a profile was compiled for Aviation Week, based entirely on observations from photographs, experts such as engineers knowledgeable in typical Russian aircraft design and of its landing at London Airport....More
Jan 28, 2016
blog

A Near View Of French Aviators (1917) 2

Some of the largest battles of the First World War were taking place in France when Aviation Week was first published....More
Blog Archive
Penton Corporate

Sponsored Introduction Continue on to (or wait seconds) ×