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​Sabotage considered in Proton rocket crash – investigator

Published time: May 29, 2014 09:10
RIA Novosti / Sergey Sergeev

RIA Novosti / Sergey Sergeev

The botched launch of the Proton-M rocket this month may have been caused by sabotage, the chair of the investigating commission said. This conspiratorial version is being considered as part of the probe, although it’s not a likely scenario.

“All variants are being analyzed in detail. As of today the most likely version involves the failure of a bearing unit in the turbine pump assembly. But, I repeat, all versions are under consideration,” Aleksandr Danilyuk, who chairs an inter-body commission investigating the May-16 incident, said.

“The sabotage version has not been ruled out,” he added.

The Proton-M rocket, carrying Russia’s most powerful telecommunication satellite, burned up after failing to enter orbit, when the third stage of the vehicle malfunctioned. It was the second attempt to put a satellite of this design into space.

This month’s Proton crash is one of several similar incidents on record, including the July 2013 disaster, in which a rocket failed immediately after takeoff, rammed into the ground and erupted in an enormous ball of fire.

The sabotage version voiced on Thursday caused some hype in Russian media and drew a rebuke from Vice Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, who supervises the Russian space industry.

“The Roscosmos disaster commission should first finish its work and present the results to the Russian government, and only then torment society with new versions of what happened,” he tweeted.

Earlier, the Russian national space agency indicated that the Proton launch failure was caused by a malfunctioning steering engine in the third stage. The fuel pump mentioned by Danilyuk provided the feed to the failed engine.

The commission is also considering a rupture in the fuel line, a failure of the fuel flow regulator due to fuel contamination and a clogged fuel filter as possible scenarios for the malfunction.

Comments (35)


Scott Kuli 10.06.2014 15:33

It could very well have been sabotage. The US has the ability to do such things remotely.

It was reported way back in a US military magazine that the Pentagon had a 'super secret' new weapons which was a bomb filled with carbon fibers. The fibers would supposedly short out electronics and 'cause itching'.

If that's all they could do, it wouldn't be super-secret.

What caused the failure of North Korean test launches?

They were using better technology than the Germans had in WW II, but the Germans didn't have failure after failure.


Sheepleherd 31.05.2014 00:12

Arthur Pewtey 29.05.2014 14:55

The simplest explanation is usually the right one.


So what's your simplest explanation of the object that was seen moving fast to the Proton rocket?
Ockams razor tells me this was sabotage, and this is not going to stop here.


Javier Chicata 30.05.2014 10:37

For sure it was a sabotage planned by the US and EU, or maybe Ukrainian work? Just wondering because Russia always blame the West for its failures...

View all comments (35)
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