Failed satellite programmed with 'wrong co-ordinates'

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LaunchImage source, Getty Images
Image caption,
The rocket carrying the satellite and other equipment launched from Vostochny cosmodrome

The loss of a multi-million pound weather satellite in November was due to programming errors, the Russian deputy prime minister has said.

Dmitry Rogozin said Meteor-M had been programmed for lift-off from a different launch site.

Speaking to Russian state TV, he blamed "human error".

"The rocket was programmed as if it was taking off from Baikonur," he told the Rossyia 24 TV channel.

In fact, the rocket was actually taking off from new base Vostochny, in the east of the country.

It contained eighteen smaller satellites belonging to research and commercial companies from Russia, Norway, Sweden, the US, Canada, Germany and Japan.

Russian space agency Roscosmos said last month that it had lost contact with the weather satellite, which was worth 2.6 billion rubles ($58m, £43m).

Russia launched its first satellite from Vostochny in April last year, after delays and massive costs overruns. That launch also proved embarrassing when a technical problem forced it to be delayed by a day, in the presence of president Vladimir Putin.