MOSCOW, June 23 (RIA Novosti) - Russia will have to build a new military satellite to replace the one lost in the Molnya-M accident, head of the Russian Space Agency (Roskosmos) Anatoly Perminov said. "The major negative outcome of the accident is the loss of the satellite. We have to build a new one, despite the fact that it was insured," he said.
Perminov said experts were considering two probable causes for the accident.
"We believe it was either the malfunction of the third-stage engine or a failure in command during the separation of the third and the second stages," he said.
According to Perminov, specialists are currently analyzing telemetric information. A special joint investigation committee has been formed because the Plesetsk Space Center belongs to the Russian Defense Ministry and the launch was conducted in the interests of the ministry, as well," he said.
Perminov said that there was no damage to the environment near the crash zone.
"The fallen fragments of the satellite could not cause any ecological damage. There could have been some traces of fuel spilled from the third stage on the surface, but such spillage is planned even when the spent rocket stages fall on the ground in this area.
"In any case, we are happy that nobody got hurt either during the rocket launch or the third-stage crash. What matters is that it fell in the designated area," he said.