Proton: A Question of Quality Control

RSS

A Russian government commission says upside-down angular rate sensors installed on the first stage of a Russian Proton M/Block DM-03 rocket most likely caused the vehicle to crash seconds after its July 2 launch.

The launch vehicle, carrying three Glonass-M navigation satellites, crashed 32 sec. after liftoff from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan due to loss of stability in its yaw axis.

The investigation revealed that at least “three of six angular rate sensors were installed incorrectly,” Roscosmos spokeswoman Anna Vedishcheva said July 19, though electrical connectors between the sensors and the first stage were installed correctly and were properly aligned.

Electrical tests were then performed, but because the sensor connectors were correctly aligned, they passed the tests. The error went unnoticed, and the launch proceeded with the misplaced sensors.

Please or Register to post comments.

What's On Space?

On Space

A Century of Aviation Week

Aviation Week & Space Technology is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. In a series of blogs, our editors highlight editorial content from the magazine's long and rich history.

 

Jul 29, 2016
blog

50 Years Ago In Aviation Week 1

Aviation Week’s Aug. 1, 1966 edition chronicled the launch of the 490-seat Boeing 747, the joining of the first 737, and a story about a jet-powered train....More
Blog Archive
Penton Corporate

Sponsored Introduction Continue on to (or wait seconds) ×