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Nearly every engine stockpiled for use on upper stages of Proton rockets has defects, investigation concludes

Proton ILS Khrunichev

Nearly every engine stockpiled for use on the upper stages of Russia’s Proton rocket has defects, an investigation concluded.

Igor Arbuzov, head of state rocket engine manufacturer Energomash, told Russian media this week that 71 engines built by Voronezh Mechanical Plant for use on the Proton’s second and third stages require “complete overhauls” to correct defects found in the engines.

Proton launches were halted after the discovery of the engine defects, linked to the use of incorrect solder in the engines, prompting the broader review.

The report did not indicate if that finding would further delay Proton’s return to flight, planned for April or May. [The Moscow Times]


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Note: FIRST UP will be publishing next week from the 33rd Space Symposium in Colorado Springs. For those signed up for e-mails, we’ll have all the updates from the conference, arriving in your mailbox a little bit later in the morning than usual. And, if you’re at the symposium, please pick up a copy of the SpaceNews show dailies on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

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Nearly every engine stockpiled for use on upper stages of Proton rockets has defects, investigation concludes

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