Moscow, Feb 1 (Xinhua-ANI): A Russian Zenit-3SL carrying rocket failed to send an U.S. telecommunications satellite into space and fell down into the Pacific Ocean on Friday, local media reported.
The Zenit’s pointing and attitude control system failed immediately after the lift-off from a sea launch pad at 10: 56 Moscow time (0656 GMT) and the RD-171 booster was automatically switched off, local media reported.
The first stage of the rocket malfunctioned, leading the rocket to an incorrect trajectory 150 seconds after the takeoff, according to Interfax news agency.
The rocket fell into the Pacific waters not far away from the Odyssey sea launch pad, which was operated by the Sea Launch consortium.
Designed by the Energy Rocket-Space Corporation, the Zenit rocket was built by the Ukrainian Yuzhmash plant and was initially scheduled to send the Intelsat-27 satellite into space on Thursday.
The launch was delayed due to request from the U.S. side. The satellite was built by the U.S. Boeing corporation with a designed life span of 15 years.
Russia’s Mission Control Center has confirmed the launch failure and formed a commission to probe into the accident, local media reported.
The first stage of the rocket is equipped with the RD-171 engine made in Russia’s Energomash Scientific-Priduction Company.
An press officer from the Energomash told Xinhua the company refrains from commenting on the cause of the accident until an investigation is completed.
Founded in 1995, the Sea Launch consortium was made up by four companies from Norway, Russia, Ukraine and the United States, with the Russian company holding 95 percent of the shares. (Xinhua-ANI)