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    Recent Proton Loss to Push Up Launch Costs – Manufacturer

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    According to the Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center, recent loss of the Proton-M rocket will push up launch costs and affect the overall number of contracts.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) The recent loss of the Proton-M rocket will push up launch costs and affect the overall number of contracts, the head of the Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center said Friday.

    “No doubt, the latest failure will affect the number of orders that we expected to sign in the near future because insurance costs will grow. Naturally, this will affect the overall price of a launch,” Andrei Kalinovsky told the Rossiya-24 TV.

    The latest of seven Proton carrier rocket failures over the past five years occurred on May 16. A Proton-M with a payload of cargo for the International Space Station lost its telemetry contact with the Earth after reaching space and began spinning out of control.

    A few days later, it fell from an uncontrollable orbit and burned up in the atmosphere.

    Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev ordered an investigative commission to uncover the exact causes of the Proton-M accident. The commission will present recommendations on personal and financial responsibility as well as ways to repair what went wrong.

    It was revealed in mid-May that Khrunichev sustained losses nearing $180 million last year due to employee embezzlement and fraud. An investigation into the Moscow-based spacecraft and space-launch systems producer's losses is ongoing.


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