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Sea Launch Explosion Due To Engine Failure

Use of Dnepr carrier rocket to resume after 2006 accident
Moscow (Interfax-AVN) Use of the Dnepr carrier rocket for commercial launches of foreign satellites from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan will resume on March 27 after a gap caused by a July 2006 accident, the press secretary of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) said on Tuesday. "The rocket will have to orbit space vehicles for Egypt, Saudi Arabia and a number of other countries," Igor Panarin told Interfax-AVN.
by Staff Writers
Moscow (RIA Novosti) Mar 14, 2007
An unsuccessful rocket launch under the Sea Launch project in late January was caused by engine failure, the press secretary of Russia's federal space agency said Tuesday. A Sea Launch Zenit-3SL rocket carrying a commercial communications satellite exploded shortly after liftoff from an oceangoing platform in the Pacific on January 31.

"The intergovernmental commission comprising representatives of Ukrainian and Russian organizations - the developers of the Zenit-3SL carrier rocket ... has completed its work. It has established that the engine failed after a metal particle accidentally went into the engine's pump," Igor Panarin said.

Panarin said the commission has proposed recommendations whose implementation will provide for the continued use of Zenit-3SL carrier rockets.

Viktor Remishevsky, deputy head of Russia's federal space agency Roskosmos, earlier said rocket launches under the Sea Launch project would resume in 2007, adding that the Odyssey platform had suffered only minor damage.

Established in 1995, the Sea Launch consortium is owned by Boeing, Kvaerner ASA of Oslo, Norway, and SDO Yuzhnoye/PO Yuzhmash of Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine, and RSC-Energia of Moscow.

The company launches its vehicles from the equator, which allows rockets to carry heavier payloads than they could from other locations due to the physics of the Earth's rotation.

Source: RIA Novosti

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Italy Tests Prototype Of Unmanned Space Shuttle Castore
Rome (AFP) March 8, 2007
Italy has successfully tested a prototype of an unmanned space shuttle, dropping the vehicle from high altitude to see how it copes with the stress of re-entry, the Italian Centre for Aerospace Research (CIRA) said on Thursday.

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