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Launcher Caused Cryosat Failure.


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A preliminary investigation by the Russian Failure Investigation State Commission has determined that a flight control system in the Rockot's Breeze upper stage caused the loss of the ESA's Cryosat satellite. The failure occurred when the Breeze didn't generate the command to shut down the second stage's engines. The Commission will present its detailed findings on November 3, 2005 to Eurorockot and the European Space Agency.

Cryosat satellite.
Russian Rokot carrying the Cryosat satellite. Image credit: ESA.

Following the failure of the Rockot launch vehicle during the CryoSat mission on 8 October 2005, the Russian Failure Investigation State Commission led by the Space Forces Deputy Commander Oleg Gromov announced the clearance of the launch vehicle for future use including launches for the Russian Ministry of Defence.

According to the analysis of the State Commission, the reason for the failure has been unambiguously identified: The failure occurred when the flight control system in the Breeze upper stage did not generate the command to shut-down the second stage's engines. A set of measures is now being implemented to prevent a re-occurrence of the incident.

A detailed briefing of the findings of the State Commission to Eurorocket and its customer ESA will take place on 3 November 2005. A Eurorockot Failure Review Board will review the conclusions of the State Commission and will release its findings in the near future.

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