Roscosmos To Investigate ArabSat Orbit Error

March 13, 2006

Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, has formed a state commission to investigate the anomaly last week that caused a Proton Breeze M vehicle to place the ArabSat 4A satellite into an incorrect orbit. The commission, led by Victor Remishevsky, deputy director of Roscosmos, plans to complete the investigation by March 30.

The launch on Wednesday was carried out under the auspices of International Launch Services, a joint venture of Lockheed Martin Corp. and Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center.

ILS said in a statement Friday it is forming a Failure Review Oversight Board independently of the Russian commission. The board will be chaired by Eric Laursen, ILS vice president and chief engineer. The board will "independently review the methods, conclusions and corrective action recommendations of the Russian state commission investigation" and report on the findings, the company said.

"All oversight board activities will be subject to relevant U.S. government regulations," the ILS statement added.

Deputy chairmen of the Roscosmos commission will be Yuri Bakhvalov, first deputy general designer from Khrunichev, which built the Proton vehicle and the Breeze M upper stage, and Alexander Chulkov, director of payload deployment systems at the space agency.

Copyright 2006 by Space Daily, Distributed United Press International

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