The International Launch Services launched the Russian Proton heavy-lift rocket on December 9 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, but it unfortunately failed, delivering Yamal 402 — Gazprom Space System’s telecommunication satellite — into a lower orbit than what is desired. Such incident marks the third failure of the rocket in 16 months.
Engineered by Thales Alenia Space, the Yamal 402 satellite has the capability to boost itself into a greater position, but due to the recent failure of the rocket, it will most likely mean that its operational life will be significantly reduced.
This failure is said to threaten the upcoming launch of the next Satelites Mexicanos launch, which was originally scheduled on December 28. The Satmex 5 satellite, which is anticipated to run out of fuel in May, would be replaced by the Satmex 8. In case the launch of Satmex 8 is late, the customers of Satmex’s might turn to other providers, which will put to danger the already-fragile financial situation of the company.
The ILS said that both a Russian government inquiry board and an independent ILS board will conduct an investigation regarding the rocket launch failure.