Roscosmos blames faulty pump bearing for early separation of Yamal-402

According to the Roscosmos space agency, the Yamal-402 telecommunications satellite initially failed to reach its proper orbit because of the failure of one of the pump bearings in its Briz-M launch vehicle.

Experts from the Russian space agency believe a bearing inside the turbopump of the upper stage of the Briz-M launch rocket was destroyed. This caused the early separation of the Yamal-402 from the rocket.

A Briz-M rocket carrying Yamal-402 took off from Baikonur Space Center in Kazakhstan on December 8. The satellite prematurely detached from the rocket and failed to achieve the desired orbit.

Thales Alenia Space later activated the satellite’s onboard engines to lift it into its intended operational orbit. But the emergency expenditure did not come without consequences. Yamal-403 was designed to operate for 15 years, but now it will only enjoy an 11-year lifespan.

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