Russian rocket carrying Mexican satellite crashes over Siberia

The malfunctioning rocket 'burnt up almost entirely in the atmosphere'

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The Independent Online

A Russian rocket has crashed in Siberia while carrying a Mexican satellite.

The rocket, Proton-M, was launched from the Russia-leased Baikonur cosmodrome on Saturday and has a history of mishaps as the rocket lost three navigation satellites last year.

The Russian Federal Space Agency has described the accident as a “malfunction” and said it will be investigating the incident.

 

A Proton-M carrier rocket carrying a Mexican satellite malfunctioned and burnt up over Siberia soon after launch on Saturday, the latest in a series of mishaps for Russia's space industry.

The third stage of the rocket carrying the MexSat-1 communications satellite suffered a problem about 500 seconds after launch from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, Russian media quoted Russian space officials as saying.

Russia's space agency Roscosmos subsequently said in a statement that the satellite, booster and third stage burnt up almost entirely in the atmosphere with no evidence of anything falling to earth.

The agency also said that the accident happened at a height of 181 kilometres (112.47 miles) and that the satellite had been insured by the customer.

The cause of the accident was not immediately established. RIA news agency quoted one space official as saying that all launches of carrier rockets of this type would now be suspended.

Additional reporting Reuters

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