Another Proton launch failure

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Eight minutes into Saturday’s Proton launch, intended to place a commercial Mexican communications satellite in orbit, the Russian rocket failed and broke up.

The Russian launch failures just continue to add up. At this rate their ability to hang on to their commercial customers is becoming increasingly difficult.


  • D. K. Williams

    Makes one wonder what the successful launch rate was back in the cold war days when launches were largely kept secret.

  • D. K. Williams

    BTW. Bob, this latest version of Captcha is terrible. Images are too fuzzy, requires typing an unreadable sentence, you have to identify things containing bread from several photos, etc. I am not a bakery expert.

  • joe

    Question about the possibility to hack into this rockets control system, what is the amount of information available for troubleshooting these failures if the craft is burned up in re-entry, How is it ascertained where in the chain of events this failure happened, and as D.K. Williams said, what was the cold war era rate of failures?

  • SteveM

    Given the apparent sad state of the Russian space industry do we need to be concerned about the reliability of the Soyuz vehicle? It has an outstanding record but one begins to have doubts. Does NASA have a plan B if our sole source transport to ISS fails? I’d like to see speedup of the American alternatives.

  • Gealon

    NASA? A Plan? Yeah, it’s call more pork.

    Joking aside, Dragon is looking like the only reliable backup and it’s still a few years out. There are the others playing with mini shuttles but I personally would never fly in a winged vehicle in space.

  • pzatchok

    The launch failure rates were much lower back in the cold war days.

    The Soviet people still believed their governments propaganda and were far more consciences about their work.

    Now they are into their third generation of techs doing the very same thing their grandfathers did on the same production lines. The quality and experience is all gone.

    Exactly how much pride could they have in the rocket systems they are working on when their highest tech electronics are bettered by western high school kids home work projects. Or when the best computers they could put on the rockets are bettered by Iphones.

    Failures at rates like this could only happen in a failing communist system. Any capitalist system would never tolerate bad workmanship on multimillion dollar projects. There would be far more quality checks all along the production line.

  • My software guy says that all you need to do is check the box that asks “I am not a robot.” Should be simple. Try again and let me know what you find.

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