× Digital News Videos Weird News Health & Science Sunday Magazine Lifestyle Opinion Education Columns Moi Cabinets Arts & Culture Special Reports Fact Check E-Paper Lifestyle & Entertainment Nairobian Entertainment Eve Woman Travelog TV Stations KTN Home KTN News BTV KTN Farmers TV Radio Stations Radio Maisha Spice FM Vybez Radio Enterprise VAS E-Learning Digger Classified Games Crosswords Sodoku The Standard Group Corporate Contact Us Rate Card Vacancies DCX O.M Portal Corporate Email RMS

Russia says technical checks may delay some space rocket launches

By Reuters | January 26th 2017 at 07:33:07 GMT +0300

The Proton-M rocket, carrying the ExoMars 2016 spacecraft to Mars, blasts off from the launchpad at the Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, March 14, 2016. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov

Russia's space agency said on Wednesday it had ordered extra checks to be made on its Proton-M rockets, meaning it might be forced to delay some satellite launches this year.

Roscosmos, the Russian equivalent of NASA, made the announcement after the Kommersant daily reported that manufacturing problems had been detected in some Proton-M rockets and that some launches were likely to be delayed by several months "in a best case scenario."

European, U.S. and Asian firms rely heavily on Russia to launch their commercial satellites, and a Roscosmos source told Kommersant that Moscow planned to launch 27 rockets this year, eight of which were Proton-Ms.

"Additional tests (on the Proton-M) are being carried out. That explains the possible delay in launches," said a spokesman for Roscosmos, without providing details. Igor Burenkov, a spokesman for the corporation, said it would become clear after the tests if there would definitely be delays and for how long.

Kommersant reported that the problem was linked to components used in the rockets' engines and concerns that some of them were not sufficiently heat-resistant.

Read More

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov played down the problems, saying Roscosmos did suffer some setbacks, but that it also had great success in many areas.

An unmanned Russian cargo ship loaded with supplies for the International Space Station broke apart about six minutes after lift-off in December. It was carried by a Soyuz rocket.

Russia Proton-M rockets Roscosmos NASA
Share this story

Read More