ILS - Proton-M / Mexsat-1 Centenario launch poster.
May 16, 2015
Image above: The damage would have occurred shortly after takeoff of the rocket.
The Russian space agency said it had "lost" a Mexican satellite Saturday after the failed launch of the carrier rocket. This is a new blow for the Russian space program.
"The launch of the Proton-M rocket with a MEXSAT-1 satellite has caused an emergency. The causes are being identified, "said the Roskosmos space agency in a statement.
The launch took place at 8:47 Moscow time (05:47 UTC) from Baikonur, Kazakhstan.
Launch of MexSat-1 on Russian Proton-M Rocket
A source at the space agency said on Saturday the government news agency Ria Novosti that communications with the Proton rocket had been lost about a minute before the time that the Mexican satellite should have separated the third floor of the rocket. The satellite could not be detached from the launcher and will not work, the source said.
Mexsat-1 Centenario, lost today
The accident took place just hours after Roscosmos announced that the engines of spacecraft Progress M-26M docked to the International Space Station (ISS) failed to start on time (4:00 Moscow time, 3:00 in Switzerland) to correct its orbit.
Fragments of the rocket, containing several tons of toxic fuel, fell back on the Chita region of Siberia, but most pieces have disintegrated in the atmosphere, explained the sources of the space industry.
The Proton-M rocket is the primary tool used by Russia to launch commercial satellites, but has experienced many problems. The launcher is used since Soviet times with some adjustments that have expanded its functions.
The head of Roscosmos, Igor Komarov, organized a meeting to review detailed reports on both accidents Saturday Tass reported.
A source from the space agency Ria Novosti said in a second test to start the Progress engines should be done on Monday unless the checks reveal no "serious problems."
Russian Progress-M docked at the station
Russia has in recent years a series of problems that have highlighted gaps in its space program, however, allows him to earn millions of dollars through the launch of Western and Asian commercial satellites.
ROSCOSMOS Press Releases: http://www.federalspace.ru/21490/ and http://www.federalspace.ru/21491/
For more information about International Launch Services (ILS), visit: http://www.ilslaunch.com/
Images, Video, Text, Credits: ATS/AFP/ROSCOSMOS/NASA/Orbiter.ch Aerospace.