by Staff Writers
Baikonur, Kazakhstan Voice of Russia) Jul 08, 2013
Kazakh Prime Minister Serik Akhmetov has ordered a governmental commission to be set up that will assess the environmental impact of the crash of a Proton-M rocket carrier.
"I order a governmental commission headed by the environmental protection minister to be created in order to study the impact of the emergency situation at the [Baikonur] cosmodrome on the environmental situation and Kazakh territory adjacent to the cosmodrome," Akhmetov said at a governmental meeting in Astana on Tuesday.
"A commission to investigate the environmental impact of the rocket explosion has been formed. I am heading it," Kazakh Environmental Protection Minister Nurlan Kapparov told journalists.
The environmental service of Kazakhstan's Kyzyl-orda region will soon arrive on the crash scene and will start monition environmental impact, he said.
The Proton-M rocket that carried around 600 tonnes of poisonous substances, including heptyl, amyl and kerosene, crashed on Tuesday morning seconds after the launch from the Baikonur cosmodrome on Tuesday morning.
Russia to go ahead with space freighter launch
The Progress M-20M space freighter is slated for lift off on July 28 from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan where a Proton rocket carrying three Glonass navigation satellites exploded shortly after launch on Tuesday.
"Preparations for the Progress launch are running according to schedule. It is still planned for July 28," Popovkin told reporters after meeting of the state commission on reforming the space industry.
Popovkin also said that Tuesday's accident would not affect the launch of a Russian laboratory module on board a Proton-M to the ISS in December.
"We will certainly sort this thing out by December. What's important is that the module is ready by December," he said.
Popovkin confirmed that an investigation into the Proton rocket's failed launch is currently considering three possible causes, including malfunctioning launch equipment, faulty control systems or problems with the first stage of the rocket engine.
"It is hard to set any deadlines, but I think the preliminary investigation will be completed by the end of July," he said.
Russia's space program has suffered a slew of setbacks in recent years, most of them blamed on faulty hardware.
Source: Voice of Russia
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