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RUSSIAN SPACE
Russia halts rocket launches after mishap
by Staff Writers
Moscow (UPI) Aug 7, 2012


disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

Russia's Roscosmos space agency says it is suspending launches of Proton-M rockets following the failure Monday of a booster to put two satellites into orbit.

A Proton rocket with Briz-M booster carrying the Telkom-3 and the Express MD2 satellites launched from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan but a failure in the Briz engines resulted in the satellites failing to achieve orbit.

"All further Proton launches will be postponed until the emergency commission, which is likely to be established soon, determines the cause of the failure, a Roscosmos source told RIA Novosti.

The failure may have been due to human error, a space expert told RIA Novosti on condition of anonymity.

"As for this incident, human error is likely to be there. Two things may be wrong here, either the mission task wasn't properly calculated or some mishap with the booster's engine occurred when it was already being fired in space," the expert said.

The two satellites in the failed launch were intended to provide TV broadcast services in Indonesia. The satellites were insured for a total of $39 million, authorities said.

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