Proton M/Block DM-03

Launch vehicle

Proton M/Block DM-03

Launch site

Baikonur, Kazakhstan


2012-07-02 0221 UTC


First stage failure


Incorrectly mounted velocity sensors


Three GLONASS navigation satellites

Desired orbit


The launch of a Proton M/Block DM-03 mission with three GLONASS navigational satellites for the Russian Federal Government resulted in a failure. About eight seconds after lift-off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 0238 UTC on 2 July 2013, the rocket veered off of its flight path and finally hit the ground about 30 seconds after lift-off.

The crash occurred in a safe area that was evacuated for the launch and nobody was injured. It was the first Proton accident involving the first stage in the post-Soviet era.

It has been officially confirmed that the crash was caused by incorrectly installed angular velocity sensors. The mistake affected three of six yaw angular velocity sensors on the rocket, said deputy head of Roskosmos, Alexander Lopatin, citing a state commission's investigation of the crash.

The mistake could have been the fault of either the worker who installed the sensors or the engineer who drew up the construction blueprints. The wrongly installed sensors bore the trace of being forced into place, he added.

Last updated: 22 July 2013

Launch Failures Chronology