July 2nd

At 6:38 am local time this morning (0238 GMT) Russia launched their Proton-M rocket carrying Glonass navigation system satellites. However just seconds after the launch the rocket veered off its trajectory, breaking to pieces and eventually exploding.

The rocket was launched unmanned from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, intending on sending three Glonass-M navigation satellites into space and was the second launch of the year of the GLONASS program.

No immediate casualties were reported and at the time of the explosion a spokesperson from the Russian Space Agency Roskosmos could not say whether people living near the launch pad were being evacuated.  The next Proton launch was due 20 July with ASTRA 2E however it is foreseen that due to the failure, upcoming Proton launches  may be delayed. The mission launch date of the next GLONASS satellite which was expected later this year is now under review.