Russia loses contact with $265 million newly-launched satellite

Someoneforyou

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Russia loses contact with $265 million satellite
RUSSIA - 18 AUGUST 2011

MOSCOW - Russia said it had lost track of a newly-launched, multi-million-dollar telecommunications satellite on Thursday, the latest in a series of setbacks that have dogged its space industry.

The $265-million Express AM-4 satellite, described by its makers as the most powerful satellite ever built in Europe, launched late on Wednesday aboard a Proton-M rocket from the Russian-leased launchpad in Kazakhstan.

The Russian space agency said the first stages of the launch went smoothly but communication with the satellite was lost due to a failure of the Briz-M upper stage.

It said experts were working to re-establish contact with the craft, built by Astrium, a unit of European aerospace group EADS, to provide digital TV, Internet and telecoms services for Russia over the next 15 years.

Its loss would be a major embarrassment for Moscow, following a series of botched launches and at a time when Russia hopes to showcase its technology at the MAKS airshow outside the capital this week.

The mishap follows a series of botched launches, including three poorly insured orbiters which crashed into the Pacific Ocean earlier this year costing $160 million and setting back Kremlin plans for a global positioning system to rival the U.S.-made GPS.

A breakdown of the Briz-KM engine burns led to the loss of a key military Earth-mapping satellite earlier this year.

The glitches cost Russia's veteran space agency chief Anatoly Perminov his job this spring. He was replaced by former deputy defense minister and space forces commander Vladimir Popovkin.



Source: Reuters
 

asianobserve

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Is the US jamming space? It seems that the Chinese and Russians are losing contacts with their rockets...
 

pmaitra

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Is the US jamming space? It seems that the Chinese and Russians are losing contacts with their rockets...
Good suspicion.

Russia has a good track record with satellite launches and the Proton Rocket is a tried and trusted one.

Such failures were expected during right after the collapse of the USSR, not now.

We shall probably never know.
 

Known_Unknown

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Let's not get too excited. One satellite failure does not mean Russia's space industry is in shambles. Even the US is not immune to disasters such as these and worse, if everyone remembers the Columbia crash from a few years ago.
 

Armand2REP

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This is not the first loss of a satellite, it is the 5th in the last year.
 

Illusive

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Lets see if they can re-establish contact with this satellite.
 

JayATL

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Is the US jamming space? It seems that the Chinese and Russians are losing contacts with their rockets...
Yes US has developed a strategy called mind fvcking - it uses psychic powers to alter a rockets trajectatory...
 

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