VIDEO: Proton Launch Failure

A Proton M/Block DM03 rocket carrying three Russian Glonass satellites failed 17 seconds after liftoff July 2 and crashed 2.5 km from the launch pad at Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

The failure was caused by an unidentified “emergency” with the rocket's first stage, which powers both Russian federal and commercial Proton missions, which are marketed by International Launch Services (ILS) of Reston, Va.

No fatalities were reported.

ILS and majority owner Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center were hoping to carry out 12 commercial launches of the heavy-lift rocket in 2013, following a string of mishaps involving the Proton's Breeze M upper stage that have shaken customer confidence in recent years. According to the ILS manifest, the Astra 2E satellite is slated to launch atop Proton July 20 for fleet operator SES of Luxembourg.

More video footage from the Proton crash can be found here.

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