Note: I wrote this on my earlier blog hosted as http://parallelspirals.blogspot.com. I recovered the text from the WayBack Machine. This post appeared on December 30, 2010 as per the time stamp. I’m trying to collect here again all my old writings spread on various blogs.
The Russian space agency, Roscosmos chief Anatoly Perminov has been reprimanded and two top space officials in Roscosmos and Energia Corporation have been fired over the loss of the Proton-M rocket carrying three GLONASS-M satellites into orbit on December 5, 2010.
The launch which took place just about 20 days ago has already finished the investigation and have come up with the cause being that the rocket was loaded with 1-2 tons more fuel than that calculated leading to the launch vehicle veering off course. In addition to fixing the problem, the Proton-M also flew its next mission on December 27, 2010 carrying the 6150 kg KA-SAT.
The speed with which the Russians have responded to the crisis is praiseworthy and also leads to some doubts about Indian claims of taking time to reach root-cause of the failure because of the mountain of data to be considered.