Investigation underway: Russian rocket launch costs increase after recent failure

© RT

According to the Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center, recent loss of the Proton-M rocket will push up launch costs and affect the overall number of contracts.
"No doubt, the latest failure will affect the number of orders that we expected to sign in the near future because insurance costs will grow. Naturally, this will affect the overall price of a launch," Andrei Kalinovsky told the Rossiya-24 TV.

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The latest of seven Proton carrier rocket failures over the past five years occurred on May 16. A Proton-M with a payload of cargo for the International Space Station lost its telemetry contact with the Earth after reaching space and began spinning out of control. A few days later, it fell from an uncontrollable orbit and burned up in the atmosphere.

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev ordered an investigative commission to uncover the exact causes of the Proton-M accident. The commission will present recommendations on personal and financial responsibility as well as ways to repair what went wrong.

It was revealed in mid-May that Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center sustained losses nearing $180 million last year due to employee embezzlement and fraud. An investigation into the Moscow-based spacecraft and space-launch systems producer's losses is ongoing.

With the apparent loss of the Progress M-27M spacecraft, the failings of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) have come into sharper focus.

Roscosmos has also decided to send additional cargo craft to the International Space Station (ISS) following the loss of the Progress M-27M resupply ship on April 28.

"It has been decided to send three resupply ships to the ISS instead of two before the end of this year, in July, September and November," a source in the space industry said.

Meanwhile, Rogozin admitted that Russia won't be able to launch the Proton rocket until the investigation is over:
He also suggested that Russian space specialists should inform their European and U.S. partners about the investigation results so "everyone understands that we have taken exhaustive steps to restore the reliability of our technology and this is important for Russia to keep its place on the market of space services."