Roskosmos Launches Investigation into Latest Proton Rocket Failure

[Satellite TODAY 08-10-12] Roskosmos has established an inter-agency commission to investigate the Aug. 6 failure of a Proton rocket’s Breeze-M upper stage that led to the likely loss of two telecommunications satellites, the Russian space agency announced Aug. 9.

   As a result of the incident, Russian Satellite Communications Co. (RSCC) lost its Express-MD2 satellite and PT Telekomuniksasi (PT Telkom) of Indonesia lost its Telkom-3 telecommunications satellite. Both satellites were placed in a useless orbit.
   The most recent launch failure was the Breeze-M engine’s second incident during the past year following an anomaly that occurred in August 2011 that destroyed RSCC’s Express AM4 satellite.
   In a statement, RSCC said it would withhold comment on the failure until the government commission has concluded its work. PT Telkom said Telkom-3 builder ISS Reshetnev of Russia is evaluating whether or not it is possible to salvage the spacecraft. The company also said that the Telkom-1 and Telkom-2 satellites, both of which are in operation, should enable the company to adequately serve its customers until a replacement is launched.
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