Proton_pad
August 8, 2013
Categories: Glonass, Proton, Roscosmos, Russia

Launches of Russia’s Proton rockets will restart in September, ending a suspension imposed after an accident last month, the head of Russia’s Federal Space Agency said Monday.

As many as five Proton launches could take place before 2014, Vladimir Popovkin, head of the Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) told reporters. “One launch every three weeks means that before the end of the year we will try and carry out between four and five Proton launches,” he said.

The launch suspension was ordered last month after a Proton-M rocket carrying three satellites for the Glonass positioning system, Russia’s answer to GPS, crashed in a ball of flames, seconds after blasting off from Russia’s Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan. The July 2 accident was the latest in a series of setbacks for Russia’s space program, and has prompted heavy criticism of the space industry by officials.

The reason for the accident was that three sensors in the rocket had been installed upside down, a commission appointed to investigate the incident said Monday.

Blame should be attributed to the designers of the sensors, who did not anticipate that they could be installed incorrectly, and not to the specialists who installed them, Popovkin said. Three specialists who installed the sensors for the launch last month are cooperating with investigators, he added.

“They [the three specialists] do not admit their guilt: They say that they did everything according to the technical requirements. But the commission looking into the accident has definitely ascertained that the sensors were installed incorrectly,” said Roscosmos deputy head Alexander Lopatin. Existing Proton-M rockets have been checked for the same fault, but no other instances were found, Lopatin added.

Proton-M rockets have suffered a string of technical problems and launch failures in recent years. Three Glonass satellites were lost in December 2010 when a Proton-M rocket crashed into the Pacific Ocean, an incident that was subsequently blamed on engineers overloading the rocket with fuel. A control system glitch led to the loss of a Proton-M in 2011, and engine problems caused the failure of another Proton mission in 2012.

comments

More from this category:
Soyuz2-1_ples
December 18, 2013

New Russian light booster Soyuz-2.1V with Volga addon stage and Aist satellite made by students was installed onto the launching pad of Plesetsk spaceport, Russian…

full story
1061789955
May 15, 2015

Roscosmos expects Commission investigating Progress accident cause to complete works by May 22. The period of investigation was increased from May 12 to May 22,…

full story
1001463924
April 29, 2015

The launch of Soyuz TMA-17M spacecraft will be neither shifted nor postponed due to Progress insertion failure and will take place on May 26, as…

full story
Mars
April 8, 2014

At the present time there is no country in the world able to send an expedition to Mars by itself but the entire humankind masters…

full story
6036789696
March 10, 2015

Russian cosmonaut Gennady Padalka expects to set up a new record spending 1000 days on the orbit,  as he told the journalists at press-conference taking…

full story
1485518315
February 21, 2017

Progress MS-05 cargo vehicle, the first one after Progres MS-04 accident will deliver to the ISS apples, oranges, grapefruits, porridge (4 variants) and some sauces…

full story
Meteoroid
June 27, 2013

Russia and USA will work together to develop meteorite protection system, – The Head of Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations Vladimir Puchkov told the journalist…

full story
vdfDBvkeN3g
September 12, 2014

Today, on September 12, Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre charters brought main and back-up crew of Soyuz TMA-14M manned spacecraft to Baikonur spaceport.  Roscosmos, Yuzny space…

full story