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Investigation into Proton Launch Anomaly Continues as Root Cause is being Evaluated

 

December 27, 2012 - The Russian Commission, convened by Khrunichev, continues its investigation and is preparing a report concerning the root cause of the December 8th ILS Proton launch anomaly with the Yamal 402 satellite. Various root cause scenarios are being evaluated  prior to the issuance of a final conclusive report.

The anomaly occurred during the 4th and final burn of the Breeze M engine during a planned 9 hour and 15 minute mission. The 4th burn ended about four minutes early and the spacecraft was subsequently separated. The spacecraft, built by Thales Alenia Space for Russian satellite operator, Gazprom Space Systems, was successfully maneuvered to its orbital position and has started in-orbit tests.

ILS has formed a Failure Review Oversight Board (FROB) in serial process at the conclusion of the Russian Commission. The FROB will review the Commission’s final report and corrective action plan, in accordance with U.S. and Russian government export control regulations.  The FROB will begin in Moscow after the report is issued and consists of ILS customers, industry subject experts, and insurance industry representatives. The FROB will provide an independent review of the investigation, root cause and corrective actions of the Russian Commission required prior to return to commercial flight.  After the conclusion of the FROB, the FROB report will be briefed to ILS customers and the launch insurance industry.

Additional information will be provided as it becomes available.

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