Russian Proton-M Rocket Crashes Shortly After Launch



Russian Proton-M Rocket
Russian Proton-M Rocket
A Russian Proton-M rocket carrying three GLONASS navigation satellites crashed soon after takeoff from Kazakhstan’s Baikonur cosmodrome.


Immediately after takeoff, the rocket swerved to one side, tried to correct itself, but instead veered in the opposite direction. It then flew horizontally and started to come apart with its engines in full thrust.

Making a huge arch in the air, the rocket plummeted back to earth and exploded on impact close to another launch pad used for Proton commercial launches. 


The crash was broadcast live across the country and fears of a possible toxic fuel leak immediately surfaced following the incident. While no such leak has been confirmed, the rocket was initially carrying over 600 tons of toxic propellants. 

There have reportedly been no casualties to surroundings structures and the town of Baikonur was not affected.


Russian Proton-M Rocket
Russian Proton-M Rocket


Russia lost three Glonass satellites in December 2010 when a Proton-M veered off course and crashed in the Pacific Ocean. The rocket was also equipped with a DM-3 booster, designed and manufactured by the Energia space corporation.


A state investigation commission later concluded that Energia experts miscalculated how much fuel was needed for the DM-3 rocket booster. As a result, the amount of oxidant exceeded the norm by 1-1.5 tons and excessive weight prevented the Proton-M rocket from putting the satellites into their calculated orbit.






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