11 July 2012
A Russian space scientist said Wednesday that Russia’s Proton-M heavy carrier rocket will remain a key space launch vehicle despite its rather poor safety record. Russia’s Proton-M and Europe’s Airane 5 currently are the most widely used heavy-lift space launch vehicles. The Proton-M has experienced several failed launches in the past three years, subsequently causing insurers to significantly raise premiums for insuring Russian rockets, which is likely to bring about higher prices for Proton launch services. Meanwhile, Russia has begun a criminal investigation into last week’s failed launch of a Proton-M carrying three Glonass navigation satellites. (Image Credit: Wikipedia)
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