Proton M/Briz M
Launch vehicle Proton M/Briz M
Launch site Baikonur, Kazakhstan
Date/Time 2006-02-28 20:10 UTC
Description Upper stage failure
Cause Insufficient quality control (foreign object)
Payload Arabsat 4A
Desired orbit 3,150 km x 35,786 km x 14.2 degrees geostationary transfer orbit


"Preliminary flight information indicates that the Breeze M [Briz M] upper stage shut down early during its planned burn sequence. As a contingency, the satellite was separated," according to launch service provider ILS. The satellite ended up in a far too low orbit and was de-orbited on 24 March 2005 UTC over the Pacific Ocean.

The Russian State Commission that investigated the failure concluded that an anomaly in the oxidiser supply system caused the Briz M upper stage main engine to shut down prematurely. Based on telemetry data, the most probable cause of the oxidiser supply interruption was a foreign particle that blocked a nozzle of the booster hydraulic pump, the commission stated.

See also:

Last updated: 23 March 2008

Launch Failures Chronology