31 Oct 2019 17:21

Kazakh rescuers hold Proton rocket emergency response exercise in 8 regions across country

NUR-SULTAN. Oct 31 (Interfax) - Kazakh rescuers began the nationwide command post exercise Proton in eight regions of the country on Thursday; the aim of the two-day exercise is to practice response in the aftermath of an emergency during a carrier rocket launch from Baikonur Cosmodrome.

The exercise is taking place in eight regions over which the rocket itinerary passes: Akmola, Aktobe, East Kazakhstan, Kyzylorda, Karaganda, Kostanay, Pavlodar, and North Kazakhstan, the press service for the emergency committee of the Kazakhstan Interior Ministry said. The exercise is controlled from a situation center of the emergency department in Kyzylorda.

The exercise will test the readiness of staffs, forces, and equipment of the territorial and sectoral subsystems of the national civil defense system to respond to rocket-related emergencies, and the liaising among central and local authorities in managing subordinate civil defense forces and equipment during an emergency.

The exercise involves national civil defense, emergency rescue, National Guard, and police forces.

The exercise is held in two stages, theory and practice, the press service said.

"At the first stage, five scenarios are sent to every region, with a subsequent increasing level of situational complexity. The main scenario, for the Kyzylorda region, involves the crash of a heptyl-fueled Proton rocket onto the Karmakshy district just after liftoff from the Baikonur," the statement reads.

The second stage will see participants honing their emergency rescue skills.

It was reported that an emergency during a Soyuz-MS-10 launch from Baikonur on October 11, 2018 forced the crew to make an emergency landing in Kazakhstan.

This was the first such accident in 35 years of manned Soyuz launches. The accident occurred two minutes into the flight. Its cause was later said to be a faulty sensor, which caused one of the side units of the Soyuz-FG rocket's first stage to separate faultily. Rather than fly off to the side, it turned around and hit the body of the rocket, thereby changing the direction of its flight. The relevant failings occurred during ground operations at Baikonur, according to the commission investigating the incident.