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Russian Rocket Fails To Reach Target Orbit

Russia's Proton-M carrier rocket has been in use since 1965.
Russia's federal space agency says an unmanned rocket and its payload of two communications satellites failed to reach its target orbit.

Roscosmos said on August 7 that a secondary booster module of the Proton-M rocket carrying Russian and Indonesian satellites switched off earlier than expected after takeoff from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on August 6.

This was the latest in a series of failures that has dogged Moscow's space program.

Last August, Russia lost contact with a communications satellite shortly after a Proton-M launch.

In 2007, a Proton-M carrying a Japanese communications satellite crashed.

Roscosmos spokesman Alexei Kuznetsov said August 7 that the agency might halt Proton-M launches after an investigation.

The 50-meter long booster rocket with a payload of up to 20 metric tons has been in use since 1965.

Based on reporting by AP and ITAR-TASS