July 18, 2013 13:47
Incorrect installation of angular rate sensors behind July 2 Proton-M crash - commission findings
MOSCOW. July 18 (Interfax-AVN) - The July 2 crash of a Proton-M launch vehicle at the Baikonur Space Center occurred due to the fact that three angular rate sensors had been installed incorrectly while the rocket was being assembled, the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) said in a report.
"The space rocket's failed launch was due to an error during installation of three yaw-axis angular rate sensors on the Proton-M rocket by the Khrunichev State Space Research and Production Center," an interagency commission investigating the crash said in a report posted on the Roscosmos website on Thursday.
Control methods currently used during the rocket's ground preparations and tests make it impossible to detect the incorrect installation of the sensors, the report said. "The error was committed during the production stage and became apparent during flight," the document says.
The commission determined that the liftoff switch was activated 0.4 seconds before the rocket actually separated from the launch pad.
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