MOSCOW, August 18 (RIA Novosti)
The designer and manufacturer of a Russian satellite launched on Thursday has no information about its location or condition, the Khrunichev State Research and Production Center said.
Russia's Proton-M rocket with the Express-AM4 satellite was launched from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan but mission control failed to establish communication with it.
North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) may have spotted a fuel tank jettisoned by the satellite's booster rocket, Briz-M, but there was no sign of the satellite itself, a space industry source said.
The booster was spotted later but it is unknown whether it has or has not separated from the satellite, Roscosmos press secretary Alexei Kuznetsov said.
The Briz-M booster was currently “in orbit,” he said, adding that the information received by ground control was being analyzed.
It was previously reported that the satellite's launch and orbital operation was insured for 7.5 billion rubles ($259 million).
The 5.8-ton satellite was designed and built by the Khrunichev Production Center jointly with Astrium, a subsidiary of the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company (EADS).
The Express-AM4 was equipped with 63 transponders operating in C-, Ku-, Ka and L-bands to provide high performance coverage over the Russian Federation and other CIS countries.
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- milantFishy18:31, 18/08/2011This is getting highly suspicious ,second accident with Proton in a row
- ruypenalvaWhat is happening19:44, 18/08/2011What is happening with Krunichev? Months ago it lost three Glonass and blame a third part booster. Now is fail again and whom will blame? Astrium? Was the Ex-AM4 fully insured? Why Norad cover better outer space than Russia defenses forces?
- Niko(no title)06:46, 19/08/2011Relax kids. Space systems, rockets and orbital satelites are extremely complex devices. They are exposed to extreme conditions in space (heat, radiation, frost, vacum...). One minor fault or obscure problem can cause disaster of big porportions. From 1 million of sucssesful lounches of satellites and systems into space that Russia has conducted...some accidents are still posible.
This will allways be like that. NASA for example has lost billions $ worth of systems and equipment in space accidents in past...but they learn from this mistakes. And produce better space things next time. So is Russian space agency.
Please stop with this conspiracy theories with HAARP, lasers, star wars, radars or other nonsens that has absolutely nothing to do with this.