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The heat of competition: Russian engineers have scrubbed Friday’s commercial Proton launch due to a gyro issue with the rocket’s Briz upper stage.
They have begun to destack the rocket to get at the upper stage in order to repair the problem, with the new launch date expected to be no earlier than mid-December.
The problem once again raises questions about the quality control generally within the Russian aerospace industry and specifically in the companies that build Proton and its upper stage. At the same time, it is a good thing they spotted the problem before launch, allowing them to correct it. That is what a company with good quality control does.