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Program error caused Russian Glonass satellite loss.

MOSCOW, Dec. 6, 2010 (TAP) - A program error caused a Russian Proton-M carrier rocket to deviate from its course and lose a booster carrying three Glonass-M satellites, a source in the Russian space industry said on Monday.

Sunday's launch of the Proton-M carrier rocket was supposed to deliver satellites for the completion of Russia's Glonass satellite navigation system.

However, the rocket, which blasted off from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan, deviated from its course by 8 degrees, resulting in the loss of the DM-3 booster with the satellites. According to unofficial reports, the spacecraft fell into the Pacific Ocean to the northwest of Hawaii.

"According to preliminary information, there were no technical problems with the Proton itself during lift-off.

A range of specialists consider that program errors in Proton's onboard computer led to the engines failing to function as normal, giving the rocket an extra boost and taking it into the wrong orbit," the source said.

Tap 2009

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Publication:Agency Tunis Afrique Press
Geographic Code:4EXRU
Date:Dec 6, 2010
Words:167
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