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MOSCOW, July 7. /TASS/. Russian space agency Roscosmos, in cooperation with the state bodies of Kazakhstan, has taken additional precautions intended to minimize negative consequences of launches from the Baikonur space center that Russia leases from Kazakhstan, the agency’s press service said on Thursday.
On June 14, two people died as a result of a steppe fire in the area where fragments of the Soyuz-2.1 rocket were to fall. The launch itself was successful.
"In order to prevent similar incidents, state corporation Roscosmos has introduced additional measures intended to minimize possible negative consequences from launches," the agency said.
The measures include orbital survey of the rocket fragment drop zones by Russian spacecraft before and shortly after the launch, post-launch aerial monitoring of these areas and other precautions.
Yuri Khatyushin, the driver of a Kamaz truck operated by Russia’s NPO Mashinostroyenia rocket-and-space enterprise, which oversees maintenance of the drop zones, died on June 14 while extinguishing a fire in the Kazakh steppe. The blaze erupted at the drop zone of the stages of the Russian Soyuz-2.1a carrier rocket and engulfed his Kamaz vehicle after a particularly strong gust of wind.
Another worker, involved in the removal of fallen Soyuz fragments, suffered serious burns. The man, identified as Vyacheslav Tyts, succumbed to his injuries on June 30.