Incorrectly Installed Sensors May Have Caused Proton Rocket Crash

Incorrectly Installed Sensors May Have Caused Proton Rocket Crash

Russian news sources are reporting that incorrectly installed angular velocity sensors may have caused the dramatic launch failure of a Proton rocket on July 1 Eastern Daylight Time.

The crash 17 seconds after launch, shown in many videos available on YouTube, did not result in any injuries, but three GLONASS navigation satellites were lost.

Russia Today cites Russia’s Interfax news service as reporting that the angular velocity sensors were connected upside down, although the official commission investigating the accident has not issued any formal results yet.

Meanwhile, RIA Novosti says that Russia will launch two replacement GLONASS satellites later this year using Soyuz rockets launched from the Plesetsk launch site.   GLONASS satellites are either launched three-at-a-time on Proton rockets from Baikonur, like the failed attempt on July 1 (July 2 local time at the launch site), or singly on Soyuz rockets from Plesetsk.

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