Russia doesn’t believe in rockets having a self-destruct option, so the Proton-M became an unguided missile. Let’s see how that played out…
In 2013, NASA’s Russian counterpart, Roscosmos, launched the Russian made Proton-M from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Seconds into the flight, the rocket began to pitch to the side as the onboard computer attempted to make course corrections. The efforts were unsuccessful and the Proton-M rocket essentially became an unguided missile, much to the fear of the spectators who were nearby. The rocket was loaded with over 600 metric tons of extremely toxic fuel, resulting in the largest amount of ground pollution ever caused by a rocket launch. The three satellites that were on the rocket, worth approximately $200 million, were destroyed. The rocket did not have any crew on board, and there were no serious injuries reported from people on the ground.
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