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No threat from rocket crash to residential areas

July 02, 2013, 8:57 UTC+3
According to the preliminary information, no high concentration of harmful chemical substances is detected
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MOSCOW, July 2 (Itar-Tass) - There is no threat to Kazakh residential sites after the rocket crash at Baikonur, a rescue and search service source told Itar-Tass.

The nearest residential site is about 70 km away. People are not evacuated, the source said.

Chemical control posts are stationed in the crash area. According to the preliminary information, no high concentration of harmful substances is detected.

The Proton-M launch vehicle with three Glonass-M navigation satellites crashed after the blast-off at Baikonur spaceport.

The rocket was launched from the 81st site at Baikonur exactly at the appointed time - at 06:38 MSK. However, almost immediately after the separation from the launch pad the rocket sharply deviated from the flight path, started to fall, began to disintegrate in the air, fell far from the launch pad and exploded.

An investigation is launched to establish the causes of the failure.

Glonass-M satellites

In April of this year from Plesetsk into orbit was successfully launched Glonass-M satellite. Glonass-M is a series of satellites of the Russian GLONASS global navigation system of the 2nd generation. The satellites are designed and manufactured by "Information Satellite Systems" n.a. Reshetnev. They differ from the devices of the Glonass series /of the 1st generation/ due to guaranteed lifetime of 7 years. These satellites, unlike the previous generation devices, transmit two signals for civilian users that allow to improve the positioning accuracy. Currently the constellation of GLONASS satellites consists of 24 navigation system devices used for their intended purpose. They provide global coverage of the entire planet irrespective of the time of year, day and weather conditions. Another four spacecrafts are orbiting reserve. Furthermore, the newest satellite GLONASS-K is already undergoing flying tests.

Space program failures

Failures pursued the Russian space industry in the past year. On August 7, 2012 the rocket Proton-M couldn't bring satellites on orbit. The reason was the upper stage engine shut down.

On August 31, Vladimir Putin said that he considers necessary to improve the space industry. In September, Vladimir Nesterov was dismissed from the position of General Director of the State Research and Production Space Center /Khrunichev/ n.a. Khrunichev. "We have no permanent staff," - said the then head of Roscosmos, Vladimir Popovkin. Nesterov replaced Vasily Sychev. Later, Dmitry Medvedev proposed a financial liability of legal persons for the poor quality of products the space industry.

This failure of Proton-M was not the first accident of this type of rocket. An incident with Proton received a great response in September 2007. Then the rocket that was set to launch a Japanese commercial satellite, fell near the town of Dzhezkazgan in Kazakhstan, in which at the time was the country's president, Nursultan Nazarbayev. The Kazakh authorities have estimated that the damage to the country amounted to about $60 million.

In 2011, as a result of the accident was lost the space truck Progress M-12M, the same year were lost military satellite Geo-IK-2, Phobos-Grunt spacecraft and a dual-purpose satellite Meridian. Meanwhile, it is expected to invest 650 billion rubles in the Russian space industry until 2015.

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