Video of Russian rocket explosion today

A high-profile failure of a Russian rocket in Kazakhstan today increased concerns about the viability of the Russian space program as a commercial tool.

The explosion blew up three satellites worth $200 million.  Video of the explosion is at the end of this story – keep watching until the shockwave hits.


Apparently these rocket failures are part of a larger, growing problem in the Russia space program. From the LA Times:

A Russian space agency official was quoted by the RIA-Novosti news agency as saying work at Baikonur is likely to be suspended for two to three months to clean up the fuel dumped across a wide swath around the crash site.

Tuesday’s rocket failure was “another setback for Moscow’s space program,” RIA-Novosti stated, recalling a 2010 Proton-M rocket crash that destroyed three other satellites intended for the Russian GLONASS system, a global positioning network like the GPS that guides American drivers, hikers, golfers and fliers.

Another Proton-M failed in August 2011, an incident blamed on a control system malfunction, and complications with the Briz engine on the rocket scrapped a Proton mission last summer. In December, a booster failed to lift the Proton to its planned satellite deployment position, necessitating a second mission to put the satellite into the correct orbit, the Russian space agency Roskosmos reported at the time.

And here’s the video of the explosion – keep watching until the powerful shockwave hits:

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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6 Responses to “Video of Russian rocket explosion today”

  1. Eli Delventhal says:

    It’s real life Kerbal Space Program!

  2. Thom Allen says:

    WE did it! Hurray! You know how powerful we LGBTQs are: destroying straight marriages, making society crumble, crushing religion, forcing kids to turn gay, making God send disasters? Well, a group of my friends and I were tired of Russia’s persecution of gays, so we got together and bombarded the rocket with the Godless particle till it blew up! That’ll show them not to mess with us.

  3. TonyT says:

    Fun with science. Sound travels about 1 mile in 5 secs. If you watch at takeoff you’ll see/hear that the sound takes 10 seconds to reach them. Also, 10 secs when the rocket explodes. So they are 2 miles away.

  4. Monoceros Forth says:

    Curious. You can clearly see the rocket leaking one of its fuel components after about 0:46 in the video, when it gives off a puff of very characteristic red-brown nitrogen dioxide vapor (probably either from nitrogen tetroxide or from fuming nitric acid, both commonly used in rocketry) and other video clips I’ve seen suggest that this leak started earlier. But the rocket was already starting to go awry before then.

  5. karmanot says:

    OMG! Was Snowden on that rocket?

  6. BeccaM says:

    The larger, growing problem with the Russian space program is the same problem experienced by the U.S. space program through the 80s and 90s: A decoupling of military/defense funding streams from the purely scientific and gov’t/commercial, followed by years of steady budget cuts.

    The Russians in particular are trying to run a superpower-level program on a 2nd-world nation’s budget. ($4b vs America’s $18b/year NASA budget — which is also way the hell too low.)

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