Because of the abnormal operation of the Fregat booster block, the second launch of the Soyuz-2.1b launch vehicle from the Vostochny launch site was unsuccessful: Meteor-M 2-1 meteorological station was not delivered to the calculated orbit. Find out the causes of the accident will be immediately two commissions: the first will be headed by a representative of Roskosmos, the second, set up on Tuesday by the government, chairman of the scientific and technical council of the state corporation Yuri Koptev. A lot depends on the results of the work of the two commissions: from the decision to abolish the next launch from the East on December 22 and the total verification of the Fregatov assembly technology at the Lavochkin NGO to personnel measures against the top managers of the state corporation and industry specialists.
Preparation of the Soyuz-2.1b rocket with the Fregat upper stage was in the normal mode. About a month ago, from the Samara RCC Progress, a rocket was delivered to the cosmodrome, a top-down block from Khimki Lavochkin NPO, and Meteor-M meteorological device from the Moscow VNIIEM. The State Commission, under the leadership of the first deputy director of Roskosmos, Alexander Ivanov, who held a meeting on Tuesday morning, gave the go-ahead for the second launch of the rocket from the East.
It took place at 8:41 Moscow time. Problems were not expected: three stages were consistently separated from the "Union", and at 8:51 the first inclusion of the "Frigate" took place, which was to deliver "Meteor-M" to the sun-synchronous orbit (altitude about 800 km). Several hundred people watched the launch, including Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin and the head of Roskosmos state corporation Igor Komarov (according to Kommersant's information, Dmitry Medvedev was also initially invited to launch, but due to a busy schedule he arrived at the launch site could not).
In the hot pursuit to determine the reasons, an emergency commission was created, which was headed by one of the top managers of Roskosmos. According to a source from Kommersant involved in the investigation, the specialists do not have telemetric data on the second inclusion of the Fregat march engine. It was to take place an hour after the launch of the "Union". To search for the device in orbit, all forces were thrown: the RF Ministry of Defense tried to detect it with the help of the space control system, and the command of the aerospace defense of North America (NORAD), to which Russian specialists applied for help, - with their own means. However, it was not possible to find it. According to Interfax, the wreckage of Meteor is already at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. According to official tenders for public procurement, the Meteor itself cost approximately 1.65 billion rubles, the Fregat unit 376.8 million, and the Soyuz-2.1b missile approximately 1,25 billion rubles. (in the prices of 2012-2014). Risks during the launch and flight tests of Meteor were insured by SOGAZ and three more insurance companies from the Russian Federation for 2.6 billion rubles.
According to preliminary reports, the loss of the device could be triggered by a technical malfunction in the aggregates of the upper stage due to production defects.
Space failures of Russia in 2000-2017
In 2000, the launch of the Kosmos-3M rocket with the US satellite QuickBird-1, insured for $ 265 million, and the launch of the Cyclone-3 rocket with six space vehicles ended in accidents. Partially successful was the launch of Soyuz-U with a satellite layout.
In 2002, the launch of the Soyuz-U LV with the Foton-M was completed with a failure. The amount of damage was not reported. The launch of the "Proton-K", which failed to bring the European satellite Astra 1K into the target orbit, was also a failure. The spacecraft was insured for $ 217 million.
In 2004, the launch of the Cyclone-3 LV with the Ukrainian satellite Sich-1M and the microsatellite KS5 MF-2 was an emergency. The amount of damage was not reported.
In 2005, the launches of the Molniya-M LV with the Molniya-3K military communications satellite, the Volna LV with the Kosmos-1 satellite, the Rokot launch vehicle and the European satellite CryoSat ended in failure. Financial losses due to accidents and subsequent forced breaks in launches exceeded $ 200 million.
In 2006, the Proton-M rocket carrier was not able to deliver the Arabic ArabSat-4A communications satellite to a given orbit. Due to the accident of the LV "Dnepr" 18 satellites were lost. The amount of damage was not reported.
In 2007, due to the failure of the second-stage steering cars, the Proton-M fell with the Japanese satellite communication JCSat-11. In the event of an accident, highly toxic fuels fell into the ground, the Kazakh authorities estimated the damage in more than $ 8 million.
In 2008, the Proton-M rocket did not put the American communications satellite AMC-14 into orbit. The amount of damage was not reported.
In 2009, the Soyuza 2.1a rocket launched the Meridian-2 satellite to an uncorrected orbit, the launch was recognized as partially successful. In the same year, the Roskosmos collegium announced the loss of the "Persona" satellite, with the help of which the military could obtain operational images of the Earth for the first time since 2001. The device went into orbit July 26, 2008, but did not work.
In 2010, the launch of the Proton-M LV ended in failure, as a result of which three GLONASS-M vehicles fell into the Pacific Ocean. The damage was estimated at 2.5 billion rubles.
2011 was a record year in terms of the number of unsuccessful launches: five out of 32 were recognized as emergency or partially successful. The Geo-IK-2 military satellite, Express-AM4, Meridian, Progress M-12M space vehicle and the "Phobos-Grunt" apparatus. Damage from accidents exceeded 18 billion rubles.
In 2012, the Proton-M rocket could not bring the Express-MD2 and Telecom-3 communication satellites into the calculated orbit. The damage amounted to 6 billion rubles. In addition, due to problems with the Breeze-M upper stage, it was not possible to bring the Yamal-402 satellite into the calculated orbit. The damage was estimated at € 73 million.
In 2013, the launch of the Zenit-3SL LV with the American satellite Intelstat-27 resulted in an accident. Partially successful was the launch of the Rokot launch vehicle with three spacecraft "Rodnik". Another major accident occurred during the launch of the Proton-M LV with three GLONASS-M spacecraft. The damage exceeded 4 billion rubles.
In May 2014, the communications satellite Express-AM4R and the Proton-M rocket launcher burned in dense layers due to the failure of the third-stage steering motor. They were insured for 7.8 billion rubles. In addition, the European navigation satellites Galileo, launched in August from the Kura space center with the help of the Soyuz-ST-B rocket with the Fregat-MT upper stage, reached an orbit.
In April 2015, the Progress M-27M cargo vehicle after launch from the Baikonur cosmodrome came out 30 km above the estimated orbit and subsequently burned in the dense layers of the atmosphere. The damage was estimated at 5 billion rubles. In May, the launch of the Proton-M LV with the MexSat-1 Mexican satellite was completed by an accident. In addition, in July the Soyuz TMA-17M docked to the ISS with an unrevealed solar battery, and in December the newest remote sensing satellite, Canopus-ST, was lost.
In December 2016, the Progress-MS-04 cargo vehicle launched from Baikonur encountered problems with telemetry, which caused it to enter an orbit and crashed.
On November 28, 2017, the "Meteor-M" satellite, launched from the spaceport, did not make contact. Separate parts of the carrier rocket, which were supposed to fall in the region of Yakutia, are now being searched for with the help of drone and radar.