Cause of Proton crash might be control engines malfunction
Baikonur. May 16. KazTAG - One of the causes of Proton-M rocket crash with Express AM4P satellite might have been malfunction of control engines of the third stage, said a source at the Baikonur spaceport.
"Specialists consider failure of control engines of the third stage as one of the reasons of the accident, as a result, the machine might have commanded to deactivate the engines of this stage. After that Proton continued the flight down the ballistic direction and destructed in the upper layer of atmosphere while its wreckages spread, supposedly, at Altay or in the Pacific Ocean," said an interlocutor to KazTAG.
In his words, the launch of Proton was conducted under routine operation.
"Thus, the specialists of space port fulfilled their task. The first two stages of the rocket worked perfectly. Separation of the second stage and activation of the third stage went in routine operation. Emergency was registered on the 545th second of flight in the time of third stage activation which did not have about 40 seconds to work until separation of orbital block with Breeze-M upper stage rocket and Express Am4P satellite," he said.