A Siberian resident miraculously escaped serious injury or even death when a fragment of a Russian communication satellite crashed through the roof of his house.
A Meridian satellite that was launched on Friday from the Plesetsk space center in northern Russia on board a Soyuz-2 carrier rocket crashed near the Siberian city of Tobolsk minutes after liftoff.
Eight satellite fragments were found in an area some 100 kilometers from the city of Novosibirsk.
One, a titanium ball of about five kilograms, fell on to the roof of a village house in the Ordyn district.
The house owner, Andrei Krivorukov, had gone out to the yard to fetch firewood minutes before the crash.
The village administration promised to do repairs at its own expense.
Meridian-series communication satellites are used for both civilian and military purposes. They are designed to provide communication between vessels, airplanes and coastal stations on the ground, as well as to expand a network of satellite communications in the northern regions of Siberia and the Russian Far East. These satellites are designed to replace the older Molniya-series.
The Soyuz-2 is an upgraded version of the Soyuz rocket, which has been a workhorse of Russia's manned and unmanned space programs since the 1960s.