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Emergency launch of rocket Proton-M not linked with malfunction of upper stage rocket DM-03

July 02, 2013, 14:40 UTC+3

The upper stage rocket DM-03 did not have flight remarks in its service life

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MOSCOW, July 2 (Itar-Tass) - The emergency launch of a rocket Proton-M is not linked with the malfunction of the upper stage rocket DM-03, a source in the rocket and space industry told Itar-Tass on Tuesday.

“The incident occurred on the first seconds of launch, the upper stage rocket DM-03 was to be activated at the 585th second,” the source said, adding that the upper stage rocket, when the rocket exploded, “was still in the standby mode.”

“The upper stage rocket DM-03 did not have flight remarks in its service life, as this is one of the most reliable upper stage rockets,” he noted.

In his view, the critical parameters appeared at the fourth second of flight during the launch, at the 12th second the launch vehicle began shaking, at the 17th second the command for the emergency deactivation of the engines was formed, the rocket exploded at the 32nd second.

The incident occurred at “the initial stage of operation of the first stage of the booster,” the rocket and space corporation Energia said in a report posted at its official website.

“The orbital block (the upper stage block and the block of spacecraft) operates in the passive mode until the separation from the launch vehicle at the end of operation of its third stage, after that the delivery of spacecraft on the target orbit is done as a result of two turns-on of the cruise engine of the upper stage rocket,” the report said.

The rocket Proton-M with three satellites Glonass-M was launched at the exact scheduled time at 06:38 Moscow time from the launching site number 81 of the spaceport Baikonur on Tuesday. However, right after the takeoff from the launching pad the rocket deviated sharply from the flight trajectory, began falling apart in the midair, fell down not far from the launch site and exploded.

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