[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Languages
Last Updated: Friday, 7 September 2007, 15:00 GMT 16:00 UK
New rocket crash alarms Kazakhs
Proton rocket launch
Kazakhstan is urgently reviewing Russia's rocket launches
Investigators in Kazakhstan have found a huge crater and debris from a Russian rocket which crashed in unpopulated countryside on Thursday.

The Proton-M rocket was carrying a Japanese communications satellite.

Fragments weighing up to 400kg (880 lb) and a crater 45 metres (49 yards) wide were found in a cattle-grazing area near the city of Dzhezkazgan.

Further Proton launches have been suspended. The rocket was carrying highly toxic fuel when it crashed.

The Russian space agency Roskosmos says a rocket booster motor malfunctioned shortly after launch from the Baikonur cosmodrome.

A similar crash happened in late July, involving a Russian Dnepr rocket.

In the latest incident, Roskosmos promised to pay Kazakhstan compensation for the environmental damage. The crash caused a fire in the steppe, but no casualties were reported.

Kazakh Prime Minister Karim Masimov, quoted by Interfax-Kazakhstan news agency, described the crash as "absolutely outrageous".

Since the break-up of the Soviet Union, independent Kazakhstan has been leasing Baikonur to Russia.

It is the world's oldest space centre - the place where the first ever satellite was launched.




SEE ALSO
Country profile: Kazakhstan
21 Aug 07 |  Country profiles
Kazakh inquiry into rocket crash
01 Aug 06 |  Asia-Pacific
First Kazakh satellite into orbit
18 Jun 06 |  Asia-Pacific
Russia Cosmodrome 50 years old
02 Jun 05 |  Asia-Pacific
Russia extends space site lease
09 Jan 04 |  Europe
Inside the Baikonur cosmodrome
13 May 02 |  Europe

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific