Friday, December 18, 2009

A recent Russian test of an ICBM last week was unsuccessful as a result of third stage engine failure. It happened during a test launch of the Bulava missile from ‘Dmitry Donskoi’ nuclear submarine early last Wednesday.

The missile has probably come out of control and exploded, … The peculiar spiral shaped light pattern comes from reflection of the sun in the leaking fuel.

A researcher at the Norwegian Geophysical Observatory, who witnessed the event reported that “[t]he missile has probably come out of control and exploded”. He also noted the “spiral shaped light pattern”, which was associated by some with an Aurora Borealis, or with the trace of an unidentified flying object of some kind before official confirmation from Russia came.

This became a 7th unsuccessful launch out of total 13 since 2003. Earlier faults were blamed on the subcontractors who supplied faulty missile stage separators.

We’ll keep working (on Bulava) despite the recent failed tests … It was impossible to drop the Bulava project or to replace it with something else.

Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology is known for designing Bulava as well as Topol and Topol M, which is a land-based ICBM of similar design mounted on the mobile carrier and already in military service in Russia.

Earlier this year, in July Yury Solomonov resigned from the head of the ITT research and development institute after a failed launch.

Despite this failure, Russian Admiral Vladimir Vysotsky noted that it’s impossible to replace the project with another or to drop it completely as a result of the recent test failures. Next launch is scheduled for January.

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