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Russian President Acts After Launch Failure

By | December 30, 2010

      [Satellite TODAY Insider 12-30-10] Russian president Dmitry Medvedev has wasted little time in wielding the axe after the loss of a number of satellites in Russia’s high profile Glonass program earlier this month. The recent launch failure resulted in the loss of three Glonass satellites, a major blow to the Russian Space industry. The satellites were lost on December 5 when a Proton-M carrier rocket veered off course and sunk in the Pacific Ocean. The rocket was equipped with a DM-3 booster, designed and manufactured by the Energia.
          According to a report in RIA Novosti, the Russian State News Agency, Energia’s chief designer of rocket and space systems Vyacheslav Filin and deputy head of Roscosmos Viktor Remishevsky have lost their jobs based on a report prepared by a State Investigation Commission. The head of Russia’s space agency Roscosmos, Anatoly Perminov has also been reprimanded, according to the report.
          The report in RIA Novosti says the Commission concluded that Energia experts miscalculated how much fuel was needed for the DM-3 rocket booster. As a result, the amount of oxidant exceeded the norm by 1-1.5 tons and excessive weight prevented the Proton-M rocket from putting the satellites into their calculated orbit. In addition, the company’s management did not follow all the necessary pre-launch safety procedures and failed to spot the mistake in calculations, the Commission reported.
          International Launch Services (ILS) issued a statement earlier this month which said the preliminary report of the Russian State Commission investigating the cause of the Proton M Block DM-03 Glonass launch failure on December 5 exonerated the performance of the Proton M, built and operated by Khrunichev State Research and Production Center (Khrunichev) as a cause of the Proton M Block DM-03 Glonass mission failure.
          The Glonass global navigation satellite system is one of Russia’s major space programs. It is a dual–purpose global navigation system designed to serve the Russian Ministry of Defense and civil users. The system is intended to provide continuous navigation coverage allowing an unlimited number of domestic and foreign users at sea, in the air and on land to determine precise coordinates, velocity and time Russia wants to bring advanced space navigation technologies to help aid socioeconomic development of Russia and national security. The Global Navigation System state program was approved by the regulation â„– 587 of the Government of the Russian Federation in 2001.

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