Non-standard launch Atlas V in March explained the failure of the Russian engine

Cause premature separation of the first stage of the American launch vehicle Atlas V on March 23 was a failure in work of system of the RD-180 engine manufactured in Russia. About it reports Reuters, citing a statement of the Corporation United Launch Alliance, the operator of the start-up.

The statement said that “the company’s engineers analyzed the data and determined” that an emergency situation associated with the control valve of the fuel mixture in the engine RD-180, which reduced the quantity of kerosene supplied during the boost phase of flight. The company noted that it now checks all RD-180 engines.

As told TASS in the press service of the Russian developer and manufacturer of rocket engines, Energomash, the company has set up a Commission to investigate the causes of failure of RD-180 engine. However, further comment from the company refused.

The carrier rocket Atlas V was launched from the spaceport in Florida on March 23. It was put into orbit cargo spacecraft Cygnus, which was supposed to deliver to the International space station more than 3.5 tons of cargo.

During the launch of the first stage of the rocket booster Atlas V with the Russian RD-180 engine was separated for 6 seconds earlier than planned. However, the ship was successfully delivered into orbit.