Proton failure may have other contributory causes but guidance system was definitely wired up wrongly

by | Jul 10, 2013 | commercial launch services, Russia | 0 comments

The failure of a Proton M/Blok DM-03 on 2 July, destroying three Glonass spacecraft in the process, continues to intrigue. While it was initially suspected that there had been an engine failure and a premature lift off due to a pad fault, now it seems that the principal cause of the rocket’s “fishtailing” trajectory, subsequent arch over, break up and crash, was due to a faultily installed guidance system.

Specifically, space analyst Anatoly Zac reports on the russianspaceweb.com website that during an examination of the crash wreckage inspectors found that that critical angular velocity sensors, DUS, which are the key parts of the rocket’s guidance system, had been installed upside down on the launch vehicle.  Image courtesy: Russian State TV

 

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