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Proton-M Rocket Crashes in Third Stage of Launch of Express AM4R Satellite

By Rachel Scharmann | May 16, 2014
      Roscosmos proton M launch

      A screenshot from the Roscosmos feed of the Express AM4R launch. Photo: Roscosmos

      [Via Satellite 05-16-2014] The Russian Proton M rocket suffered an unspecified failure during the third stage of the launch for Airbus Defence and Space’s Express AM4R satellite. The failure occurred nine minutes after liftoff from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Friday, May 16 2014 at 1:42 a.m. local time.

      The failure was at an altitude of 99.4 miles and at a speed flight of 4.4 miles per second. All component parts, as well as components of fuel, burned up in the atmosphere and the spacecraft was not launched into orbit.

      The Russian Federal Space Agency continues to investigate the cause of the emergency, and currently there is no specified cause for the failure.