Really Low Earth Orbit

‘Programming error’ caused Russian rocket failure

A Russian Proton rocket failed to get three Glonass satellites into orbit over the weekend, apparently due to computer programming issues. Glonass is the Russian equivalent of GPS. They’ve been trying to get the whole system back online after if fell into disrepair in the 1990s.

Here’s a bit from the AFP article:

Once separated from the Proton launch rocket, the upper-stage booster rocket with the three satellites aboard should have put them in orbit about 20 kilometres (12 miles) above the earth.

Wow. Just think how fast those things must be going to maintain orbit at only 12 miles. And the system works by listening for the things screaming overhead. “We just heard number seven, comrade, and that’s number fifteen. This must be Siberia.

Okay, the article was probably supposed to say “20,000 km (12,000 miles),” which is about what Wikipedia says these things normally orbit at.


  1. Perhaps that was the programming error.

    If NASA can not convert Meters to Feet, the Russian Space Agency can drop some zeros.

    1. Yeah, if that was the programming error (they entered 1000s of km instead of km) it would be a problem.

      “Hey, Ivan. Why’d the first stage only burn for seven seconds?”

  2. Hats off to Murdoc for pointing out (once again) the raging inability of many in the Lame Stream Media to get even the most basic of facts correct in stories. Not to mention, apparently not having passed 8th grade science; which likely would have prepared them to realise orbiting at 12 miles is physically impossible without a permanent propulsion source.

    My suggestion? Reporters should check their story facts on that new fangled electronic marvel…………the internet; before they post their stories. I hear it’s available on computers now, meaning they could actually have it in their homes or offices! LOL!

  3. I wonder if it’s a coincidence that the big Iranian and NOKOR missiles all seem to fail in the same way….

  4. How much do you want to bet that the source where they got their information listed the altitude as 20 kkm and the idiots “corrected” it to 20 km?

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