Headlines > News > Fuel Pipe to Blame for Proton Launch Failure - Source

Fuel Pipe to Blame for Proton Launch Failure - Source

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Thu Aug 9, 2012 8:33 am via: RIA Novosti
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Monday’s failed satellite launch was caused by a fault in its fuel pipe, Kommersant daily reported on Thursday, citing a source in the government inquiry.

The source said telemetry showed that pressure in the Briz-M upper stage fell sharply following the vehicle’s second burn, causing the Proton-M rocket, carrying two communications satellites, to spin out of control.

The launch was scheduled to utilize four burns of the Briz-M to put Indonesia’s Telkom-3 and Russia’s Express MD2 satellites into orbit.

The Briz-M’s fuel pipe might have been “mechanically damaged” or held some foreign objects, the inquiry source said.

The failed launch has prompted Russian space agency Roscosmos to suspend all Proton-M launches until the findings of the inquiry are returned.

Last year, a malfunction of a Briz-M booster led to the loss of the Express-AM4 telecommunication satellite.

Copyright 2012 RIA Novosti. All rights reserved.

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