Russian Proton-M rocket crashes on takeoff

Russia Today Apr 22 2013


July 2, 2013



Update 12:05am EST

A Russian Proton-M rocket carrying three navigation satellites crashed soon after takeoff from Kazakhstan’s Baikonur Cosmodrome Tuesday morning.

Right in the first minute of the lift-off the rocket swerved to one side, tried to correct itself, but instead veered in the opposite direction.

The rocket flew horizontally, before starting to plummet back to the launch site, with its engines in full thrust.

There are no immediate reports of casualties.

The emergency ministry of Kazakhstan is considering evacuating the surrounding areas as nuclear fuel leaked from the rocket could threaten the immediate vicinity.


Experts point to engine failure as the likely cause of the crash.

"It's either the control system or the engine that has caused the accident. If the accident occurred in the first 10 to 20 seconds, than the engine is likely to be the cause," a source in the space agency told RIA.