Russian satellites crash into Pacific: agencies

Three Russian satellites crashed into the Pacific Ocean on Sunday after a failed launch, media reported.

Russian satellites crash into Pacific: agencies

Three Russian satellites crashed into the Pacific Ocean on Sunday after a failed launch, media reported, in a setback to a Kremlin project designed as a rival to widely used U.S. navigation technology.

Russian news agencies reported that the satellites went off course and crashed near Hawaii after blasting off from Russia's Baikonur space centre in Kazakhstan.

A spokesman at the space agency Roscosmos could not confirm media reports but said the satellites had deviated from their planned course after a Proton-M rocket launcher malfunctioned.

"It was an unplanned situation," said the spokesman. He declined to give further details.

Interfax news agency quoted an aerospace industry source as saying that the carrier veered from course, bringing the upper part of the rocket with the satellites into an incomplete orbit and causing them to fall back into the atmosphere.

Roscosmos said it would issue a statement later on Sunday.

The satellites were the last of the batch of 24 satellites at the heart of Russia's GLONASS, its answer to the U.S. Global Positioning System (GPS).

Russia has been developing the system since 1976. The state has spent $2 billion in the last 10 years on the project, and the system is expected to be fully operational by end of January 2011.

Reuters

Last Mod: 05 Aralık 2010, 18:14
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