March 10, 7:51
MOSCOW, August 5 (Itar-Tass) - Roskosmos plans to perform before the yearend 4-5 launches of Proton rocket, Head of the Federal Space Agency, Roskosmos, Vladimir Popovkin said.
He said the first launch after the break following the accident at Baikonur on July 2 will be with a foreign satellite.
“A foreign satellite was scheduled, so things will proceed as planned,” Popovkin said.
Proton-M accident aftermaths and investigation results
Roskosmos, plans to resume launches of Proton-M rockets in September.
“We hope for September, but will firstly see how the enterprise works” to fulfill orders from the investigative commission, the authority’s Deputy Head Alexander Lopatin told reporters.
Lopatin is head of the commission investigating into reasons of the recent accident at Baikonur.
On July 2, Proton-M carrier rocket with three GLONASS apparatuses took off from the 81st pad of the Baikonur launch area, but almost immediately after the takeoff began to fall apart, fell down not far from the start, and exploded.
Later, Alexander Lopatin said “at the Khrunichev centre three of the six angular rate sensors had been installed incorrectly.” A criminal case was opened.
On August 2, the governmental press service reported Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev signed an order to reprimand Head of the Federal Space Agency (Roskosmos) Vladimir Popovkin for unduly execution of his occupational duties.
The failure of three angular rate sensors provoked the crash of a Proton-M rocket, Alexander Lopatin said.
“No failure of process discipline has been reported,” he stressed.
Rokot launches to be resumed
Vladimir Popovkin also added that Russia’s space agency will resume launches of Rokot light-class carrier rocket in the first half of September.
Launches of Rokot had been suspended after its failed launch with military satellite Geo-IK-2 in February 2011.
Popovkin said failures were found in the upper stage control system.
“We sorted everything out and checked it for ion effects. We have positive results after all these follow-up revisions, therefore we are planning this launch in the first half of September,” he said adding that Rokot will launch Gonets-M satellites.