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Soyuz-2 carrier rocket  (Source: physorg.com)
This crash marks the fifth failed space mission for Russia in 2011 so far

A Siberian man had a piece of a Russian satellite crash through his home after a system failure sent both the communication satellite and its rocket plummeting back to the Earth's surface.

Andrei Krivorukov, the homeowner, went out to his yard minutes before the crash to gather firewood. A fragment of a Meridian satellite then crashed through his roof while he remained outside unharmed.

The Meridian satellite, which is used to provide communication between airplanes, vessels and coastal stations for both military and civilian purposes, had launched last Friday from the Plesetsk space centre in northern Russia. It sat atop a Soyuz-2 carrier rocket, which crashed near the city of Tobolsk only minutes after lift-off.

Krivorukov's home, which is in the Ordyn district, had a titanium ball of about 5 kg smash through his roof.

No one was harmed in the crash, but the village administration has agreed to repair the house for free.

This crash marks the fifth failed space mission for Russia in 2011 so far. Some others that have occurred throughout the year include a failed Rokot launch to deliver a military satellite called Geo-lK2 into orbit, and a failed mission where a Proton rocket delivered its $300 million satellite payload into the wrong orbit.

Experts are currently investigating what went wrong with the Soyuz-2 carrier rocket.

"This area of the space industry is in sort of a crisis," said Vladimir Popovin, Russian space agency chief. "We can say even now that the problem lies in the engine."

Source: NDTV





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