Proton Launch Failure Report Released

By Keith Cowing
January 9, 2000
Filed under


[10 Jan 2000] The launch of the International Space Station’s Service Module by Russia aboard a Proton rocket has been put on hold until the cause of two recent Proton launches has been discovered. Moreover, both RSA and NASA want to see several successful Proton launches before risking the Service Module.

According to a report released by International Launch Services (ILS): “The most likely cause of the failure of the Proton LV Ser. No. 38602 on October 27, 1999 is the presence of metallic or mineral particulate matter inside the engine resulting in the ignition of the turbopump’s engine assembly in Stage II Engine #1 (P/N 8D411K, Ser. No. 5358161741). The most likely cause for the particulate matter to find its way into the engine is poor workmanship
at the Voronezh Mechanical Plant in 1992/93. The failure under study is categorized as a fabrication-related one.”

° Proton Launch Failure Report, ILS press release

° International Launch Services

° Proton-K / Block-DM Launch Vehicle fact sheet, ILS

SpaceRef co-founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.