Launch vehicle Rokot/Briz-KM (Rokot KM)
Launch site Plesetsk, Russia
Date/Time 2005-10-08 1502 UTC
Description Second stage failure
Cause Flight control system glitch
Payload CryoSat
Desired orbit circular, 717 km x 92 degrees

Following the failure of the Rokot launch vehicle during the CryoSat mission, the Russian Failure Investigation State Commission led by the Space Forces Deputy Commander Oleg Gromov announced the clearance of the launch vehicle for future use including launches for the Russian Ministry of Defence.

According to the analysis of the State Commission, the reason for the failure has been unambiguously identified. It occurred when the flight control system in the Briz upper stage did not generate the command to shut down the second stage's engines. A set of measures is now being implemented to prevent a re-occurrence of the incident.

A Eurockot Failure Review Board will review the conclusions of the State Commission and release its findings in the near future, ESA said in a statement.

Rokot, manufactured by Russia's Khrunichev Space Center, is a three-stage liquid propellant launcher with a re-ignitable Briz upper stage, also built by Khrunichev. The launcher comprises a booster unit containing the first and second stages, and an upper composite unit consisting of the interstage, the Briz upper stage, the payload adapter, the payload and the fairing. The booster unit is an adaptation of the SS-19 ICBM. All stages use dinitrogen tetroxide and unsymmetrical dimethyl hydrazine as propellant.

Before this launch there have been six flights of the Rokot/Briz-KM combination, all of which were successful. The launcher is commercially operated by Eurockot Launch Services GmbH, a German-Russian partnership in which EADS Space Transportation participates for 51 percent and Khrunichev for 49 percent.

Last updated: 29 October 2005

Launch Failures Chronology