Feeds

3-2-1... BOOM: Russian rocket launches, explodes into TOXIC FIREBALL

Three satellites worth $200m smashed to smithereens

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Video An unmanned Russian rocket carrying three Glonass satellites veered wildly off-course shortly after takeoff and crash-landed in a fiery explosion.

According to state news agency Ria Novosti, there have been no reported casualties, but officials have warned that a cloud of poisonous smoke from the Proton-M rocket's fuel could spread across the local area in Baikonur, Kazakhstan.

“There was an accident during the Proton-M launch. The rocket fell and exploded on the territory of the launch site,” a spokesman for Russia’s Federal Space Agency, Roscosmos, said.

The blast-off was broadcast live by Rossiya-24 television, with footage showing the rocket wobbling almost immediately after liftoff, then starting to come apart in the air before catching fire and hitting the ground in a fireball of flame and black smoke.

The head of Kazakhstan's Emergencies Ministry, Valdimir Bozhko, said rain was helping to keep the smoke from the burning of 600 tonnes of highly toxic heptyl, amyl and kerosene rocket fuels onboard, but it could still drift. The nearest town is around 60km away.

The accident marks the second unsuccessful launch of a Proton-M rocket with Glonass positioning satellites in the payload in the last three years. TV channel Rossiya-24 said the loss from the sats was around $200m.

The other mission failed in December 2010, when the rocket's upper-stage Briz engine failed. The partial failure of the same booster in a launch in August 2012 caused a payload to be stuck in the wrong orbit.

It is unclear what caused the difficulties in the latest launch, although the Emergencies Ministry said a near-instantaneous failure of the rocket's first stage engine was to blame. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Boffins attempt to prove the UNIVERSE IS JUST A HOLOGRAM
Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
China building SUPERSONIC SUBMARINE that travels in a BUBBLE
Shanghai to San Fran in two hours would be a trick, though
LOHAN tunes into ultra long range radio
And verily, Vultures shall speak status unto distant receivers
SpaceX prototype rocket EXPLODES over Texas. 'Tricky' biz, says Elon Musk
No injuries or near injuries. Flight stayed in designated area
Galileo, Galileo! Galileo, Galileo! Galileo fit to go. Magnifico
I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me. But at least I can find my way with ESA GPS by 2017
EOS, Lockheed to track space junk from Oz
WA facility gets laser-eyes out of the fog
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.