Cosmic failure: Putin arrives, space rocket launch halted


The first launch of a space rocket from the new Vostochny Kosmodrome met with failure: it was dismissed a minute before the end of the countdown.

The launch of the Soyuz-2.1a space rocket was due to take place at 5:01 a.m. Moscow time (02:01GMT) on Wednesday. The rocket was to have put three satellites – Lomonosov, Aist-2D and SamSat-218 – into orbit. To witness a triumph of the country’s most advanced scientific and technical ideas Russian leader Vladimir Putin arrived at the new kosmodrome built in Amur region, close to the border with China.

However, automated control system aborted the launch 1.5 minutes before the scheduled time. The launch was preliminarily postponed for 24 hours. Instead of holding a press conference, Putin called an emergency meeting; a special commission started to investigate the reasons for launch abortion.

“As always, the responsibility for what takes place in the field of space rests on those people who are engaged in it and are in control of it,” head of state corporation Roscosmos Igor Komarov bravely took the blame on himself.

“An automatic stop of the launch occurred due to glitches of the work of the automatic control system. A delay for a day is planned, during this time we will work on all the deviations.” news agency TASS quotes Komarov as saying.

The official believes that they will manage to restore it in one day. The reason for the launch cancellation has been localized, he added.

According to Vladimir Putin, he will be waiting till tomorrow.

The way Russia’s state-run TV station Rossiya 24 reported about the would-be launch a day before:

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