Thursday, April 23, 2015

Experimental Space Rocket Crashes in Russia

Plesetsk cosmodrome. Credit: an-tuan-net.livejournal.com

An experimental carrier rocket fell down today Wednesday after a planned test launch, a source at the Plesetsk space center in the Arkhangelsk Region, northern Russia, told TASS on Thursday. "The rocket designed by a defense company successfully kicked off the launch pad but some minutes later strayed off trajectory and fell down in an unpopulated area in the Arkhangelsk Region," the source said. Local authorities and the Emergencies Ministry said the 9.6-ton rocket carried no dangerous components and posed no threat to environment and local residents. The failed launch caused no explosion or fire. "The fuel of this rocket poses no environmental threat," the source said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin was informed of Wednesday’s crash, Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

"Quite naturally, the president received information on the accident," he said.

Peskov said, however, he did not have a detailed report on what exactly happened.

An official speaking on condition of anonymity initially told AFP the incident had involved an experimental military rocket, but state-owned weapons manufacturer Almaz-Antey was later quoted as saying it was an Antey-2500 missile that fell back to the ground.

The test was meant to "give an assessment of the manoeuvrability of a modernised missile of the surface-to-air Antey-2500 missile system," the firm's spokesman told Russian news agencies.

Credit: TASSAFP

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