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Russia grounds Proton-M rockets following an accident

Russia’s space program just can’t catch a break, it seems. A spokesperson tells RIA that the country has suspended all Proton-M rocket launches following an accident that destroyed one model carrying a Mexican satellite. Officials reportedly want to know why this vehicle failed before they let any others take off — all they’ve determined so far is that the third stage’s engine booster suffered a glitch. The move is understandable (both Russia and private launch services lean heavily on the Proton-M), but it also suggests that the nation’s rocket problems are boiling to a head. Unless it finds a permanent solution, there may well be more incidents in the future.

[Image credit: Roscosmos via AP]

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