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Published:July 8th, 2013 12:14 EST
Russian Proton-M Rocket Crashes Immediately After Launch

Russian Proton-M Rocket Crashes Immediately After Launch

By Ron G Anselm


"It doesn`t matter how many times you get knocked down but how many times you get up."-Vince Lombardi

This quote is so true and gives anyone in need of inspiration a boost of hope and motivation. We all know how it is to get knocked down in life, I certainly know because I think I have been knocked down more times than Roberto Duran was knocked down by Sugar Ray Leonard in those all out boxing street brawls we watched back in the late 1970s and early 1980s when the first stages of cable television started to make its way to the airwaves. The difference is that I have always gotten up and still do and continue to move forward because that is all that matters.

Whether it`s in life as an individual or you are a country trying to get a large entity going like maybe a space program it doesn`t matter. Maybe, this is something the Soviet Union needs to take note on because just recently and moments after launch one of their unmanned Russian Proton Rockets veered off course like a drunken Hobo trying to cross the street after a night in the back alley and a fifth of Southern Comfort and the Russian proton rocket crashed and burned like a NASCAR driver missing turn five at Daytona Beach and slammed into the ground igniting 600 tons of fuel that produced a huge and dramatic fireball that could probably be seen for miles. No one was reported hurt but the news doesn`t stop there, in the crash and inferno three GLONASS satellites were lost as-well.

The Russian Proton-M rocket was launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome at 6:38 a.m. Moscow Time on July 1st which would equate to 10:38 p.m. Eastern Standard Time in our country; the video of the launch showed the rocketed immediately losing control. Reports are stating that the booster tried to compensate for what appeared to be engine failure as the 19-sotry tall Proton rocket rolled and veered in the other direction which caused it to immediately break apart before suddenly bursting into flames when it hit the ground.

The total flight lasted about thirty seconds. One of the issues about Russian rockets is that they do not carry any self-destruct explosives like our rockets do, so if one of the Russian rockets as it did in this case suddenly loses control and the mission immediately becomes aborted, the only way the chaos will end is when the Russian rocket makes contact with the ground and explodes.

These types of Russian rockets also carry large quantities of toxic unsymmetrical dimethyldrazine and nitrogen tetroxide fuel which when released into the environment poses a big threat to the surrounding area. The ministry of Kazakhstan is considering evacuating the surrounding area of the rocket crash with the toxic fuel that leaked as a result of the malfunction of the rocket launch. The main reason the Russians were launching one of their Proton-M rockets was to release three more satellites in their GLONASS navigation network which consists of an armada of many satellites which orbit 12,000 miles above the Earth`s SURFACE. GLONASS is the equivalent to our U.S. managed GPS Network.

This is not the first Russian botched rocket launch, three-years ago another Russian Proton rocket failed to reach orbit after the result of a botched fuel calculation. This last launch will make the fifth Proton launch this year and the 388th since 1965 for the Russians. The first launch of the series of Proton rockets was in 1965 and these types of rockets are mainly used for launching the Salt, Mir, and International Space Station modules and also used for launching probes to the moon, Mars and Venus. It stands about 174 feet tall and is equipped with three main stages. It can also be equipped with a fourth stage known as the Breeze-M stage which is used to put payloads into high orbit. The first three stages of this rocket are fueled with UDMH (unsymmetrical dimethyl hydrazine) and N204 oxidizer (nitrogen tetroxide) in its main stage. The fourth stage or Breeze-M stage runs on liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen.

This last crash of the Proton-M rocket was not cheap, it is estimated the crash cost nearly 200 million dollars and is the fifth Proton rocket failure since December 2010. So, as the motivational saying goes, It doesn`t matter how many times you get knocked down but how many times you get up. Keep trying to get that one functional Proton-M rocket into space successfully and if Russia does then the essence of this old saying by Vince Lombardi will prove to not only extend to the ranks of each and every one of our lives but to a huge entity like the Russian Space Program.


Wall, M. (2013) Russia Halts Proton Rocket Launches After Explosive Crash, Retrieved 2013.

O` Neill, I., Russian Proton Rocket Loses Control, Explodes, Retrieved 2013.

My next book, Our Grand Ol` National Past Time " A Brief History of Major League Baseball is schedule for release into the market on August 20, 2013. You can continue to pre-order your copy of my book directly from my publisher`s website at or directly from my website at ( Also while you`re at it check out my book trailer at (