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Human mistake causes Express-AM4 launch failure - Roskosmos

August 30, 2011, 13:31 UTC+3

Ban on preparation of Proton-M with Briz-M upper stage lifted

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MOSCOW, August 30 (Itar-Tass) — The ban on preparation of Proton-M carriers with Briz-M upper stages is lifted, Russia’s Federal Space Agency /Roskosmos/ said on Tuesday.

The decision followed results of the Inter-Ministerial Commission analysing causes of Proton-M rocket’s abnormal start on August 18 from Baikonur, which had the Briz-M upper stage and Express -AM4 space apparatus.

Roskosmos has prepared necessary recommendations to be used prior to next launches of Proton-M. Earlier, Roskosmos planned to have five launches of these rockets before November 1.

Unsuccessful launch of Express-AM4 communication satellite was caused by a disorder in programming of the Briz-M booster’s control system.

Press service of the FederФЙal Space Agency /Roskosmos/ reported on Tuesday that such was the conclusion the Inter-Ministerial Commission analysing causes of Proton-M rocket’s abnormal start on August 18 from Baikonur, which had the Briz-M upper stage and Express -AM4 space apparatus.

“Following analysis of information, the commission has concluded that over formation of the mission profile for the Briz-M upper stage, the time interval of sub turning of the gyro-stabilised platform was cut unreasonably,” the press service said. “This caused the incorrect orientation of the upper stage and, consequently, failed to bring the satellite to the designed orbit.”

“The upper stage’s other systems worked properly,” the press service said. “The ban on preparation of Proton-M carriers with Briz-M upper stages is lifted following results of the commission, and Roskosmos has prepared necessary recommendations to be used prior to next launches.”

Earlier, Roskosmos planned to have five launches of Proton-M rockets before November 1.

“Roskosmos’ Head ordered to verify the schedule of launches during the remaining four months of 2011, where Proton-M rockets will be used,” the press service said. “At the same time, there continues an administrative investigation into responsibility of officials at Roskosmos, the Khrunichev centre and the sector’s other enterprises.”

The Proton-M rocket, the Briz-M upper stage and the Exprewss-AM4 space apparatus were produced at the Khrunichev centre.

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