Russian Unmanned Rocket Explodes Moments After Launch

Tyler Durden's picture


If Russia was hoping to punctuate its foreign policy victory over the US in hosting Edward Snowden and being on the list of his asylum applicants with the overnight launch of a unmanned Proton-M rocket, carrying some $200 million worth of navigation satellites, those hopes literally went up in flames when 17 seconds into the take off, an emergency switch-off of the engines led to a spectacular explosion, and sent the rocket plummeting to earth. End result: a massive blow up caught on live TV, hundreds of millions in equipment lost and 172 metric tons of highly toxic heptyl propellant raining on the ground for miles around the crash.

From Reuters:

A Russian rocket carrying three navigation satellites worth around $200 million crashed shortly after lift-off from the Russian-leased Baikonur launch facility in Kazakhstan on Tuesday after its engines suddenly switched off. The accident led to a large spill of heptyl, a highly toxic rocket propellant, but there were no reports of casualties or of any immediate threat to nearby settlements.


State-run Rossiya-24 television showed footage of the Proton-M booster rocket veering off course seconds after lift-off. It fell apart in flames in the air and crashed in a ball of fire near the launch pad.


Interfax news agency quoted an unnamed source as saying launch-pad personnel were in bunkers when the rocket lifted off.


Russia's space agency Roscosmos said the accident had been caused by the emergency switch-off of the rocket's engines 17 seconds into the flight. Russia's state-run RIA news agency said the switch-off could have been caused by a problem with the engine or the guidance system.


The rocket contained 172 metric tons (1 metric ton = 1.1023 tons) of highly toxic heptyl propellant, Kazakh Emergencies Minister Vladimir Bozhko told an emergency government meeting.


Talgat Musabayev, head of Kazakhstan's space agency Kazcosmos, said nitric oxide - a product of burning heptyl - was much less toxic for humans. He said it was raining in the area, so toxic clouds would probably not reach the town of Baikonur some 60 km (38 miles) away.


However, the authorities instructed locals to stay at home and not to open windows, and ordered to close shops and public catering, said Kazakh Interior Minister Kalmukhambet Kasymov.


The estimated loss from the three satellites, meant for Russia's troubled Glonass satellite navigation system, was about $200 million, Rossiya-24 reported.

Footage of the dramatic crash below:



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Tue, 07/02/2013 - 07:48 | 3713229 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture



OK.....nobody laugh.

Tue, 07/02/2013 - 07:56 | 3713254 Parabolic
Parabolic's picture


Tue, 07/02/2013 - 07:59 | 3713264 aint no fortuna...
aint no fortunate son's picture

Stuxnet Redux?

Tue, 07/02/2013 - 08:00 | 3713265 krispkritter
krispkritter's picture

Putin on the Fritz...

Tue, 07/02/2013 - 08:07 | 3713280 SilverDOG
SilverDOG's picture

Female reporter is DRUNK.

Tue, 07/02/2013 - 08:09 | 3713287 Spider
Spider's picture

Putin should have given Snowden a little more help...

Tue, 07/02/2013 - 08:44 | 3713389 lakecity55
lakecity55's picture

Lookit all the countries Snowman has applied to....

Now, either they are all Afraid of the USSA or

They are all Complicit in the World Spy Program.....

(or one of the two options above).

Scary, huh?

The only freedom in the USSA today is where you stand and the number of square feet under the range of your rifle.

Global Fascism. It's what's for lunch.

Tue, 07/02/2013 - 08:49 | 3713413 knukles
knukles's picture


Thinking about this this a.m. as I was waking.
Everybody is part of the system (well, reasonably developed, on line, etc.)  The info is hoovered up wholesale, shared with all the biggies, allies, etc.  So why not have the data base be of the whole world?
Turrderists live all over (excuse) have no borders, and need to be watched by their local gendarmes, and best of all, its the NWO in reality.

Go E Verify!


Its a global Leviathan.
To think less is naive.

Tue, 07/02/2013 - 09:07 | 3713461 Hippocratic Oaf
Hippocratic Oaf's picture

Russian women speaking english makes me cringe.


They're beautiful on a pole, but just can't get over that they're just after the money.



Tue, 07/02/2013 - 09:16 | 3713486 Pegasus Muse
Pegasus Muse's picture

That rocket reminds me of Beelzebub Barack trying to articulate a coherent thought without reading it off his teleprompter. 

It's gonna be ugly. 

Crash & Burn. 

Tue, 07/02/2013 - 09:26 | 3713534 Harlequin001
Harlequin001's picture

So, let me get this straight. Russia can put a 600 tonne rocket into space costing USD 200 million with payload and the Fed can create USD 85 billion and more in new money every MONTH, thats 425 rocket launches a month but the US can't send 'another' man to the moon 'cos it's too expensive.

Yeah, right, and you expect me to believe that Neil Armstrong isn't a lying fuck.

Yeah, I believe you honest.

Tue, 07/02/2013 - 09:29 | 3713558 lakecity55
lakecity55's picture

To the Moon, Bit-Chez!

Tue, 07/02/2013 - 09:33 | 3713594 NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

I have one of them as the "finale" for my 4th of July fireworks display.  Everyone's invited, free parking, plenty of beer and dogs.  Fireworks display to start as soon as it gets dark out.

Tue, 07/02/2013 - 09:51 | 3713659 Harlequin001
Harlequin001's picture

and bring your own hard hat and medical cover...

and factor 4 billion sun block...

You wouldn't even need a barbeque, just stand there with a suasage on a fork and it will toast quite nicely, along with the rest of your house...

Tue, 07/02/2013 - 09:55 | 3713678 cifo
cifo's picture

It IS rocket science...

Tue, 07/02/2013 - 10:26 | 3713799 Debugas
Debugas's picture

there is a difference between Energia and Proton rockets. Energia is pure russian made and used for manned modules launches to ISS. Proton is in cooperation with ukrain and is a part of old nuclear rockets conversion program utilizing old engines

Tue, 07/02/2013 - 10:25 | 3713793 gaoptimize
gaoptimize's picture

That is just plain BS.  Russian women are not only beautiful on a pole, many (like mine) are highly educated, great wives and mothers, making awesome children, and every once in a while if you ask nicely and playfully, they will say "Moose and squirrel" for you.

Tue, 07/02/2013 - 13:16 | 3714442 Totentänzerlied
Totentänzerlied's picture

Soviet society was the most educated and well-read on the planet. Just sayin'.

Tue, 07/02/2013 - 11:12 | 3713985 TheObsoleteMan
TheObsoleteMan's picture

They're ALL just after the money you fool. It knows no geography bounds.

Tue, 07/02/2013 - 09:27 | 3713485 lakecity55
lakecity55's picture

Right on, Knux.


I think maybe the best bet for the spook is Caracas. True, it is heavily penetrated by the USSA, but there is a chance the Venezuelan secret service can protect him.

What bothers me  about the spook is that he has not revealed any truly damaging information. I can think of a number of items he could reveal if he had the access he claims to have. Any of these items could bring down the illegal USSA and start the process of rebuilding a true Constitutional framework to proceed from.

Perhaps we will have to wait and see. He has already done yeoman's work revealing the extent of illegal surveillance on USSA citizenisms. Perhaps the best item is that the USSA no longer obeys the US Constitution in any way, shape or form. By implication, it also reveals the NAZI Reichstag rubber-stamp reality of the "US Congress."


Tue, 07/02/2013 - 09:32 | 3713582 knukles
knukles's picture

Si.  We'z on the very same page, paragraph and sentence, bro.

Tue, 07/02/2013 - 10:36 | 3713847 Fish Gone Bad
Fish Gone Bad's picture

What bothers me about the spook is that he has not revealed any truly damaging information.

Do you remember the scene in Watership Down where the rabbits find all the free food with a bunch of snares?  The apathy was just so incredibly creepy.  It was the destiny of rabbits to get fattened up for the slaughter.  Anyway, back on topic, the information looks pretty damaging to me.  The fact that it has been brushed off is actually what bothers me.

This ought to bother people too:

Tue, 07/02/2013 - 11:16 | 3714003 TheObsoleteMan
TheObsoleteMan's picture

You have no idea what kind of info he has given the Russians. Do you really believe they would release the best of it to the press? It doesn't work that way, best to keep them {USA} guessing as to what the Russians really know.

Tue, 07/02/2013 - 08:30 | 3713357 Manipuflation
Manipuflation's picture

LMAO SD!  At least she looks like she was ridden hard and put away wet.  WTF is with that outfit she is wearing?  She has quite the syntax doesn't she?  I hear something like that every day around home and often wonder to myself, "What the fuck did she just say?".

It's bad enough the resident two year old has graduated from calling "you bullshit" to loudly and proudly exclaiming "FUCK!" with a bunch of Russian words mixed in.  See what a good parent I am?

Tue, 07/02/2013 - 08:43 | 3713380 Dooud
Dooud's picture

Hey Man, It's a White Russian hangover. At least she put a coat on, over her pajamas, I like her style!

Tue, 07/02/2013 - 09:03 | 3713457 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

A scorecard of global space launches is available at and information specific to the Proton launch vehicle can be found at the link below:

Tue, 07/02/2013 - 13:22 | 3714457 Totentänzerlied
Totentänzerlied's picture

What is the MEANING OF THIS!?!?! Posting useful, accurate, topically relevant information!? FOR SHAME!! /s

Tue, 07/02/2013 - 08:11 | 3713292 giggler123
giggler123's picture

Out of interest, anyone test the S300 system?

Tue, 07/02/2013 - 09:57 | 3713685 BigJim
BigJim's picture

Yeah, I can imagine Assad watching this, and thinking: is it too late to get my initial down-payment back?

Tue, 07/02/2013 - 08:14 | 3713303 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

wow that was funny.

Tue, 07/02/2013 - 08:35 | 3713371 SamAdams
SamAdams's picture

That was my first thought...

Tue, 07/02/2013 - 08:39 | 3713384 lakecity55
lakecity55's picture


Tue, 07/02/2013 - 09:14 | 3713476 tobus
tobus's picture

What's is all this crap about heptyl? Proton rocket fuel is hydrazine and the oxidizer is nitrogen tetroxide.

If they filled it full of heptyl (whatever that is) then that's probably why it exploded.

Tue, 07/02/2013 - 09:39 | 3713528 Urban Roman
Urban Roman's picture

It has two less yls than nonyl. 

You can see the colorful N2O4 in the exhaust just as it goes all wobbly. So, a failure in the hydrazine pump for one of the engines, perhaps? Or a break in the N2O4 plumbing -- it's coming out of the side of the engine instead of through the nozzle. 

Apparently the Russians don't bother to include a range safety system into their launch vehicles? 

Tue, 07/02/2013 - 10:02 | 3713707 BigJim
BigJim's picture

Pah! Damage to the environment from heptyl schmeptyl. You want pollution? Try Lake Karachay:

Tue, 07/02/2013 - 10:14 | 3713762 Meat Hammer
Meat Hammer's picture

Zero IS rocket science after all.

Tue, 07/02/2013 - 10:11 | 3713747 CPL
CPL's picture

The launch pad is in the middle of an area that is outgasing Methane and Hydrogen sulfide with the unlocked CO in the permafrost slowly filling the atmosphere.  It wouldn't take much to blow up anything in those conditions.  The airline industry is having a hard time right now because of it.  Hard to determine where an explosive fog bank or cloud patch is until it's a bit too late.  If it was the safety systems it would have gone up in smoke well before launch during the tests they run prior to launch.  The US btw hasn't got a better 'safety' record either if counting the amount of launches and failures.  

Space flight is dangerous on a good day to begin with.  Plus rocket fuel is infamously unstable even with proper procedures and containment, but it's the cost of doing that business.

Crappy thing about that launch is it was going to be part of the new real time weather monitoring system to monitor exactly that, the Methane/Hydrogen Sulfate outgassing because it'll be going on for the next decade and it's something we really need to be keeping an eye on and planning around.  It's going to take years to make more systems to fire into orbit.  I was looking forward to the extra sensors going online and checking things out, it's been cloudy and my telescope hasn't been getting much use.  Sigh.

Tue, 07/02/2013 - 18:01 | 3715444 conspicio
conspicio's picture

FWIW, this was slated to be one of the last Heptyl fueled launches since they are not only moving to a new platform, but also moving away from Baikonur as a primary launch site to Plesetsk and Vostochny. The Angara line is already though years of testing and will be fueled by an oxygen/kerosene mix. Of course, there have been the requisite promises and the inevitable delays. Look for International Launch Services, which is the US division of GKNPTs Khrunichev company to lead the way for the new launches with the potential for US customers to move payloads there.

Tue, 07/02/2013 - 10:26 | 3713801 Yancey Ward
Yancey Ward's picture

Heptyl the common name for the fuel consisting of 1,1-dimethylhydrazine and dinitrogen tetroxide.

Tue, 07/02/2013 - 08:01 | 3713269 Jdog
Jdog's picture

US spying and hacking the rocket?

Tue, 07/02/2013 - 08:40 | 3713385 Hulk
Hulk's picture

It was SRARP. Soviet Rocket Advanced Raining Propellent program at work...

Tue, 07/02/2013 - 08:52 | 3713420 knukles
knukles's picture

heptyl nitrite...
Wasn't that destined for the first two married gays on the space station?
Oh the horror of non diversity

I wanna be Spartacus

Tue, 07/02/2013 - 11:19 | 3713831 CPL
CPL's picture

The space station right now is empty because of the Solar minimum problem that is undiscussed right now except in a handful of science journals.  The Space Station was supposed to be abandoned after the Soyuz incident in 2011.  But with our Sun acting strangely for the past couple of years, all the men and women that were launched were up there from the purpose of gathering more information at the cost to their now shortened life spans (radiation kills eventually).  Otherwise Earth has been losing satellites faster than we can launch them and performing any repairs that are needed.  However it's come down to the point there are few options left except to abandon the station.

See that dark ring of black, it's dense and fast.  And it's going to clobber us tommorrow around 0600 UTC, then we'll probably lose more of the HAARP array and a couple more satellites.  Everyone noticing the internet is a little slow lately?  The satellites are part of the infrastructure that run it and other things.  I wish there was better news to share, but our Sun is very large and influencial and has been very busy knocking infrastructure offline one piece at a time steadily over the past eight years.

You'll all know when it hits.  It'll feel like a buzzing sound in the back of your skull and deep in the ears, sort of like tinnus but with a pressure headache.  That would be the massive EM pulse provided by the sun on the past Saturday/Sunday.  If you are prone to headaches, short of hiding in a faraday cage for a day there is always weed.

Tue, 07/02/2013 - 08:05 | 3713279 dow2000
dow2000's picture

Oh boy this is getting good, "honey grab the popcorn". Check to you Mr. Putin...

Tue, 07/02/2013 - 10:20 | 3713780 BeaverFever
BeaverFever's picture

This video is proof that breaking up is not hard to do.

Tue, 07/02/2013 - 08:41 | 3713388 de3de8
de3de8's picture


Tue, 07/02/2013 - 11:37 | 3714089 glenlloyd
glenlloyd's picture

Flying Chernobyl?

Tue, 07/02/2013 - 18:30 | 3715578 kita27
kita27's picture

Talk about blowing it way out of proportion. I thought RT was a Russian station?  What happened to simply reporting the news? This was 1% news 99%  buullshit! but this bullshit wasnt even entertaining.

Tue, 07/02/2013 - 07:50 | 3713234 Quinvarius
Quinvarius's picture

I have done that many times in Kerbal Space Program.

Tue, 07/02/2013 - 07:51 | 3713238 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

there goes some more silver. 

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