MOSCOW, August 7 (Itar-Tass) —— The August 6 abortive launch of two satellites was caused by an untimely switching off of the upper stage engine, a spokesman for the Russian Space Agency (Roscosmos) told Itar-Tass on Tuesday.
“We can make a preliminary conclusion that the Briz-M upper stage control systems were functioning in a regular mode. It can also be said that the upper stage’s engine failed to reach its nominal rated thrust, which caused its automatic shutdown,” the spokesman said.
According to the spokesman, further lunches of Briz-M upper stages have been suspended until it is absolutely clear what caused the failure.
As of now, a special commission has been set up. It is led by Roscosmos head Vladimir Popovkin. The commission is tasked to find the reasons for the abortive launch and establish responsibility of officials, from a shop head to top-ranking Roscosmos officers. Personnel reshuffles may follow.