Russia has decided to cancel the launch of the Proton-M rockets. They will delay the launch with about three and a half months due to deficiencies in the engines. The announcement shadowed the accident which occurred with the Progress MS-04 spacecraft when the cargo crashed and destroyed the rockets just a few moments after launching.
- The Russian space agency BAIKONUR decided to cancel the launch of Proton-M rockets.
- This decision was made due to flaws which were identified in the engines.
- Specialists opened an investigation to reveal what caused the crash of the Soyux-U craft.
Back in December, the unmanned Soyuz-U craft carrying a cargo spaceship which was meant to deliver supplies for the International Space Station splintered in the atmosphere after only six minutes it was launched from the BAIKONUR Space Center. This terrible accident destroyed 2.6 tons of fuel, food, and other supplies. The space agency opened an investigation to establish the cause of the accidents.
Investigators stated that the incident happened because of some flaws in the engine parts. A new report suggested that the crucial components in the second and third stages of the Proton-M rocket may have been changed by workers during the developmental process. The engines of Soyuz and Proton-M rocket were developed at a plant in Voronezh.
Instead of using materials which consisted in precious metals, workers decided to use less heat resistant materials. Even if those materials used were cheaper, this would eventually trigger disastrous events to happen. Inspectors responsible for the examination of other Proton-M rockets are currently searching for an answer. Nevertheless, the rocket fleet of Russia, the Proton-M will remain grounded until the investigation is finished.
The Russian space agency granted to inspect all Proton-M rockets to make sure that they will be ready to set off in three and a half months. Dmitry Rogozin, the Prime Minister, claimed that three Proton-M spaceships would be dismantled for workers to replace their second and third-degree engines. After visiting the Voronezh plant, Rogozin argued that employees there were specifically directed to change documentation and technology.
Those who will be found guilty of such a terrible deed will be punished. Last week, the head of the Voronezh plant resigned, highlighting the disappointing work and the low product quality. Apparently, this was not the first incident which got authorities’ attention regarding the rocket quality control at the Russian space agency. Similar technical problems like these led to terrible accidents of unmanned crafts in 2015, 2014 and 2013.
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