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December 25, 2011
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Russian satellite hits ‘Cosmonaut Street’ in Siberia

National

December 25, 2011

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MOSCOW: A fragment of a Russian satellite that fell back to Earth after a failed launch crashed into a village in Siberia hitting a house on a street named after cosmonauts, officials said on Saturday.
The Meridian communications satellite failed to reach orbit Friday due to a failure with its Soyuz rocket, in the latest setback for Russian space programme which has now lost over half a dozen satellites in the last year.
Its fragments crashed into the Novosibirsk region of central Siberia and were found in the Ordynsk district around 100 kilometres south of the regional capital Novosibirsk. “A sphere was found, around 50 centimetres in diameter, which crashed into the roof of a house in the village of Vagaitsevo” in the Ordynsk district, an official in the local security services told the Interfax news agency.
In an extraordinary irony, the official said that the house was located on Cosmonaut Street, named after the heroic spacemen of the Soviet and Russian space programme. The head of the Ordynsk district, Pavel Ivarovksy, told Interfax that the damage was being examined by specialists and the owner of the property, who was at home with his wife at the time, would receive compensation.
“The owner told me he heard a noise, then a crash, and he went outside and saw the damage,” he said. There were no reports of casualties. The failure of the Soyuz-2.1B rocket to deliver its payload is a particular worry as it comes from a member of the same family that Russia uses to send multinational manned crews to the International Space Station (ISS).
An unmanned Progress supply ship bound for the ISS crashed into Siberia in August after its launch by a Soyuz, forcing the temporary grounding of the rockets and well as a wholesale re-jig of the station’s staffing.

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