Space Rocket Falls Back To Earth, Burns Up The Atmosphere

By on
The unmanned Falcon 9 rocket
IN PHOTO: The unmanned Falcon 9 rocket launched by SpaceX, on a cargo resupply service mission to the International Space Station, lifts off from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Florida January 10, 2015. The unmanned Space Exploration Technologies Falcon 9 rocket blasted off from Florida on Saturday carrying a cargo capsule for the International Space Station, then turned around to attempt an unprecedented landing on earth.While the cargo ship flies towards the space station, the rocket was expected to head back to a floating platform in the Atlantic Ocean some 200 miles (322 km) off Jacksonville, Fla., north of the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station launch site. REUTERS/Scott Audette

A commercial satellite was reported to have been lost, prompting Russia to begin investigation on Sunday. This is aggravated by a separate technical lapse noted on the International Space Station, which all the more caused fear in the industry.

On Saturday, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev ordered an explanation from the space agency lead Igor Komarov and the entire team. The accident, involving the Proton-M rocket transmitting a Mexican telecommunications satellite, had been discussed by a commission on Saturday, according to the TASS state news agency, which cited a space industry author.

According to the Roscosmos space agency, the machines running the third phase of the rocket taking the satellite into orbit broke down. This resulted in the third and latter stages to fall back to the Earth and burn up the atmosphere. The technical failure reports made by the Russian media and state-controlled agencies were rather blunt. Initial reactions revolved around the quality assurance mechanisms of the relatively low-paid space industry department. The head of Roscosmos was also questioned due to previous setbacks and failures.

"The best of the best do not go to work in the rocket and space sector, Yury Karash of the Russian Academy of Comonautics told the Russkaya Sluzhba Novostei radio. “There is nothing to attract highly qualified specialists: the pay is low and it's not very prestigious to work there."

To contact the writer, email

Join the Discussion