Proton Launch Failure Findings Released To ILS

Russia launched its Proton M rocket July 2, carrying three satellites for the GLONASS navigation system. However, liftoff ended seconds later with a dramatic failure.
Image credit: Flickr.com user Alexpgp

[Satellite TODAY 08-09-13] A summary of the findings on the root cause and corrective action plan following the failure of the July 2 Proton M Block DM mission, which carried three GLONASS navigational satellites for the Russian Federal Government, has been released to International Launch Services (ILS) upon being cleared by Russian security.

The summary indicates that the most probable root cause of the failure was due to the improper installation of the three yaw angular rate sensors located on the Proton launch vehicle, which caused the vehicle to deviate from its flight path shortly after lift-off.

The ILS Failure Review Oversight Board (FROB), which consists of ILS customers, industry subject experts, and insurance industry representatives, will begin on August 9. The FROB will provide an independent review of the investigation, probable root cause and corrective actions required prior to return to commercial flight, in accordance with U.S. and Russian government export control regulations. After the conclusion of the FROB, tentatively set for August 16, the board’s report will be briefed to ILS customers and the launch insurance industry.

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