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Russian Rocket Crashes in Kazakhstan

Unmanned Proton-M kaput seconds after lift-off

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 2, 2013 12:50 AM CDT
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(Newser) – A Russian rocket carrying three satellites fell apart and crashed in a huge ball of flame seconds after lift-off this morning, spilling 170 tons of toxic fuel near Kazakhstan's Baikonur launch facility. The Proton-M rocket was unmanned and although it crashed near the launch pad, where personnel were in bunkers, the Russians say there were no casualties, Reuters reports. The three satellites, which were worth around $200 million, were to have been part of the Glonass navigation system, Russia's version of GPS.

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