Russian Proton-M Rocket Crashes Carrying Three Satellites

Category: Technology / Jul 02, 2013 12:43PM EDT
A Russian Proton-M rocket carrying three satellites exploded on Tuesday (July 2) shortly after lift-off from the Russian-leased Baikonur launch facility in Kazakhstan.
The rocket was unmanned and there were no injuries reported. 
Russian television showed footage of the Proton-M booster rocket veering off course seconds after lift-off. It fell apart in flames in the air and crashed in a big ball of fire near the launch pad.
Launch facility personnel who were in bunkers at the site when the rocket lifted off survived.
Interfax said Kazakh emergency authorities were considering evacuating nearby towns in the sparsely populated area because of the potential health threat from toxic rocket fuel burning at the crash site.
The estimated loss from the three satellites, meant for Russia's troubled Glonass satellite navigation system, was about $200 million, Rossiya-24 reported. The state-run RIA news agency said the cause could have been a problem with the engine or the guidance system.
Video Credit: Reuters