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Failure is not an option for Russian space industry
by Staff Writers
Moscow (Sputnik) May 21, 2015

File image: Dmitry Medvedev.

On Saturday, a planned correction of the ISS orbit could not be carried out after the Progress M-26M's engines failed to start on time. In an unrelated incident just hours later, an emergency situation occurred with the Proton-M rocket carrying a Mexican satellite shortly after its launch. The satellite did not detach and was declared lost.

The Proton-M carrier rocket failure harms the reputation of Russia, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Monday.

"The [investigation into the failure] should be brought to the end, [we should] understand both the Soviet and post-Soviet causes [of the Proton accident] because the accident hurts the reputation of our program launches, it is absolutely obvious," Medvedev said during a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, who is in charge of Russia's space industry.

Medvedev said that there were obvious financial implications due to the failed launch on Saturday of the Proton-M carrier rocket that was to orbit Mexico's MexSat-1 communications satellite.

Following the incident, the Russian prime minister ordered to set up a special commission to investigate the causes behind this failure.

"But, in addition to financial losses, there are reputational costs that I have mentioned. We must deal with this and officially inform everyone that we will continue to carry out these programs."

Russia Must Toughen Penalty for Launch Failures
Russia needs to toughen punishment for space failures if it wants to keep its leading position in this industry, Russia's deputy prime minister in charge of the space industry said Monday.

The recent launch failure of a Proton rocket is similar to those that happened in 1988 and 2014, Russia's deputy prime minister said.

On Saturday, a planned correction of the ISS orbit could not be carried out after the Progress M-26M's engines failed to start on time. In an unrelated incident just hours later, an emergency situation occurred with the Russian Proton-M rocket carrying a Mexican communication satellite shortly after its launch. The satellite did not detach and was declared lost.

"It [the accident] is absolutely similar to what happened in 1988 and last year, there was a malfunction in the same system."

In May 2014, another Proton-M launch was unsuccessful when the rocket suffered a third stage failure that ended in the loss of the Russian Ekspress telecommunications satellite. Comparisons were quickly drawn between last year's accident and one that occurred in 1988, when a Proton-K rocket suffered a third-stage engine failure.

The deputy prime minister said that it was "a matter of honor" to establish the reason why this flaw was made on several occasions.

"Greater responsibility and consolidation of the industry, as well as its technical modernization, are vital preconditions for keeping our [leading] position," Dmitry Rogozin said at a meeting with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

"We cannot continue launches until this primary flaw is established," the minister said. "And, of course, we need to speed up the transition to modern carrier rockets of the Angara family and gradually retire the Protons."

Source: Sputnik News

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