Russian Official Hints at Foul Play in Launch Mishap [AFP]

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An unnamed Russian space official has suggested another country might be responsible for a recent Russian launch mishap that left a military satellite in a useless orbit, according to news reports.

Russian technicians lost track of the Geo-1K-2 shortly after its Feb. 1 launch aboard a Rockot vehicle, only to find it later in the wrong orbit. A commission has been set up to investigate the failure.

    “One unnamed space official told Interfax however that initial evidence suggested that the craft went off target after one of its booster rockets inexplicably reversed course.

     “‘The probable cause may involve electromagnetic intrusion on the automatic controls,'” the unnamed space official said.

     “The official did not identify the country he suspected of trying to derail the Russian military mission.”

But the official is quoted as saying the electromagnetic pulse could have come from a vehicle on the ground, at sea, in the air or in space.

 

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