Angular rate sensors at crashed Proton-M rocket were installed

An ad hoc commission investigating the July 2 crash of a Proton-M launch vehicle at the Baikonur Space Center has concluded that angular rate sensors on the rocket had been installed "upside down," Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) deputy head Alexander Lopatin said on Thursday.

An ad hoc commission investigating the July 2 crash of a Proton-M launch vehicle at the Baikonur Space Center has concluded that angular rate sensors on the rocket had been installed "upside down," Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) deputy head Alexander Lopatin said on Thursday.

"Telemetry information, an experiment on and analysis of the rocket fragments that have been found show that the manufacturer incorrectly installed the angular rate sensors," said Lopatin, who heads the investigative commission.

Roscosmos will revise the procedure of manufacturing launch vehicles and will introduce mandatory photo and video surveillance of their assembly, Lopatin said.

"We are introducing video and photo documentation of all manufacturing phases. Unfortunately, this element [the angular rate sensor] was not photographed," he said.

The sensors were installed on the rocket on November 16, 2011, he said.

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