Proton M rocket goes out of control and explodes destroying three Glonass navsats (Updated)

by | Jul 2, 2013 | commercial launch services, Russia | 0 comments

In the latest disaster to beset Russian space industry, a Russian Proton M rocket went out of control shortly after its launch from the Baikonur launch site, near Tyuratam in Kazakhstan at 0238 GMT on 2 July. Three Glonass navigation satellites meant for the Russian equivalent of the GPS navigation constellation were destroyed in the subsequent explosion and impact with the ground.  The cause of the failure is as yet unknown though a first stage engine shutdown was reported.   Footage of the crash of the Proton M/Blok DM-03 was played on Russian Television.

The failure is no surprise to space experts who have continued to criticise Russian launch reliability which, unlike Western rocket experience, never seems to improve.  According to the Ascend SpaceTrak database, this Proton launch failure is the fifth in the last four years including last Proton failure carrying three Glonass satellites in December 2010.  Likewise, over the last 10 Proton flights there have been three failures – a 30% failure rate.

Updated: The launch and satellites were not insured directly but Russian insurance sources indicate that the launch was insured within the Russian space insurance market for third party liability upto a value of 6 billion rubles ($182 million) while the launch pad was insured for $20 million.    There was not thought to be significant damage to the pad.  However, a claim may yet be made for the clean up costs associated with the fuel contamination.

Unsually for this configuration of rocket, the Proton M used the later  RD-276 engines for its first stage.

About Seradata

Seradata produce the renowned Seradata database. Trusted by over 100 of the world’s leading Space organisations, Seradata is a fully queryable database used for market analysis, failure/risk assessment, spectrum analysis and space situational awareness (SSA).

For more information go to

Related Articles




nasaspacexecoreviewsissesaArianespacevideochinaFalcon 9v1.2FT Block 525virgin galacticULAfalcon 9RoscosmosevaDGAspacewalkaviation weekaressoyuzIGTInternational Space StationBeidouawardsRocket LabBlue OriginspaceStarlinkSatellite broadcastingrussiamoonAirbus DSISROCargo Return VehicleboeingmarsblogresearchOneWebspaceshiptwojaxaorionmarsimpactdelayhyperbolaEutelsatdemocratrocketlunarhypertextobamagoogle lunar prizelaunchVegabarack obamaconstellationSEStourismnorthfiguresthales alenia spacespaceflightnode 2fundedRaymond LygoIntelsat2009Lockheed MartinExpress MD-2Elon MuskAtlas Vromess2dassault aviationaviationLucy2008wk2sstlukradiomissilesuborbitaldocking portexplorationAriane 5 ECAVirgin OrbittestinternetLong March 2D/2sts-122Ariane 5Northrop GrummanSLSChina Manned Space EngineeringElectronflightspace tourism2010cotsnewspapermissile defensegalileospaceportExpress AMU 1Long March 4Cbuildspace stationaltairsoyuz 2-1aProton Minternational astronautical congressshuttlespace shuttleEuropean Space AgencyLauncherOneCosmosIntelsat 23scaled compositeshanleybudgetrulesnew yorkAriane 6shenzhouatvVietnamcongressMojaveboldenLong March 2COrbital ATKInmarsatcnesnew shepardiaclunar landerGuiana Space CenterkscApollolawsSpace Systems/LoralUK Space AgencyLong March 4BKuaizhou 1AILSprotonUS Air ForceTalulah RileydarpaElectron KSFalcon 9v1.2 Block 5Vega CeuAstriumSkylonpicturebaseusaastronautdragonlanderfiveeventTelesatNorth KoreaSSLAprilSNC50thinterviewLong MarchSea LaunchfalconWednesdaycustomerlinkatlantissuccessor