Russia’s Rokot Grounded Indefinitely Pending Launch Failure Investigation
[Satellite TODAY 02-23-11] The Russian Space Agency halted all Rokot missions so that it can complete an investigation of the Feb. 1 launch failure that destroyed Russia’s Geo IK-2 military satellite, Russian officials announced Feb. 22.
Russian scientists are examining Rokot’s Briz-KM upper stage as the cause of the failure to place Geo IK-2 in its proper orbit. The three-stage Rokot is based on the intercontinental strategic ballistic missile RS-18 design.
Rokot’s next mission was scheduled at the end of March, but Russian officials said the investigation, which includes state-owned enterprises and four Russian Defense Ministry institutes, would not be completed by that time.