A Proton takes a nose dive at the Baikonur Cosmodrome. (Credit: Tsenki TV)
It’s been a long road, getting from there to here….
by Douglas MessierManaging Editor
The Russian space program reached a milestone last week: for the first time in nearly a decade, it went a full 12 months — 365 days — without a single partial or complete launch failure.
On Oct. 11 the program passed the one-year anniversary of the Soyuz MS-10 in-flight abort that sent NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Roscosmos cosmonaut Aleksey Ovchinin on a wild ballistic ride. Neither one was injured; both later flew to the International Space Station.
The last time Russia went more than one year between launch failures was a 14-month stretch between March 14, 2008 and May 21, 2009.
The last calendar year in which the Russian space program had a clean sheet was in 2003. They have 76 days left in 2019 to equal that feat.
The table below shows the program’s 22 failures and six partial failure over the past 15 years.
RUSSIAN LAUNCH FAILURES, 2004 – 2019
Dec. 24, 2004
Sich 1M, Micron 1