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Russian woman charged over Proton failure

March 16, 2015

By Chris Forrester

Russia has charged a quality control engineer over problems associated with the failure of a Proton rocket in July 2013. The rocket took off from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and once aloft turned rapidly through 180 degrees and crashed spectacularly to the ground, exploding and destroying three Russian GPS satellites.

A subsequent inquiry found that the Proton’s guidance sensors had been installed upside down.

Russian news agency Izvestia reported the news on March 13th, saying that Diana Gudkova, a 30-year veteran at the Khrunichev rocket-building company, has been formally charged with violating safety rules which is a criminal charge in Russia. She was the senior assembly manager and in charge of quality control. Two other individuals are also under investigation.

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