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Rocket, satellite fragments not to reach Earth

May 16, 2014, 12:22 UTC+3 16 16/5
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© Roscosmos/TASS TV

MOSCOW, May 16. /ITAR-TASS/. Fragments of the Proton-M launch vehicle, the Briz-M upper stage and the Russian communication satellite Express-AM4R will not reach Earth, Roscosmos chief Oleg Ostapenko told ITAR-TASS on Friday.

"According to our preliminary information, nothing has reached Earth," he said. When the malfunction occurred, the rocket was over China, he added.

As was reported earlier, the Proton-M with the Express-AM4R communication satellite burned up in the atmosphere over the Pacific.

The failure to orbit the satellite was caused by malfunction of the steering engine of the third stage of the rocket 540 seconds after the launch, when the Proton was at an altitude of 161 km.

A state commission is investigating the accident.


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