Moscow, Dec 6 (ANI): Three Russian Glonass-M satellites, which were launched on Saturday, have reportedly crashed into the Pacific Ocean off the Hawaii Islands after falling off course.
Xinhua quoted the RIA Novosti news agency as saying that the upper stage of the Proton-M rocket carrier and three Glonass-M navigation satellites had fallen into the sea 1500 kilometres northwest of Honolulu.
Russia's space agency, Roscosmos, declined to comment.
According to Interfax, the crash might have been caused by stronger propulsive force of the Proton-M rocket, which deviated from its planned course to eight degrees."The rocket's engine gave a much bigger impetus than planned, and the orbiting unit separated at an altitude much higher than the designated one," it added.
A special committee has been set up to investigate the case, Interfax said.
The Proton-M rocket blasted off from Kazakh Baikonur space center with three Glonass-M satellites atop at 01:25 p.m. Moscow time (1125 GMT) on Sunday. The satellites were expected to be put into orbit at about 04:27 p.m. Moscow time (1427 GMT). (ANI)