MOSCOW, July 5 (Itar-Tass) - The commission investigating the Proton-M crash is considering three main versions, Roscosmos head Vladimir Popovkin told reporters.
There are several versions. No one is ruled out, Popovkin said.
These are the starting equipment, the control system and the rocket propulsion.
No version is preferable. The group is considering all the factors and their influence they could have on the possible cause. The versions will be checked in experiments, and a conclusion will be drawn to work out a plan of measures, he said.
A Proton-M booster carrying three Glonass-M satellites blasted off from the Baikonur cosmodrome at 06:38, Moscow time on Tuesday. Immediately after the launch, it deviated from the trajectory and began to disintegrate in midair. It fell some 2.5 kilometers from the launch site and exploded. Roskosmos said the accident occurred in the 17th second of the flight because of emergency engine shutdown. An aerospace source said the accident had not been caused by a breakdown of the DM-03 accelerator unit.
A heptyl cloud formed after the explosion. The launch pad and the launch crew were not harmed, and no casualties were reported at the crash site.