Cryosat launch. It crashed back to Earth shortly after. Image credit: ESA. Click to enlarge.
Mr Yuri Bakhvalov, First Deputy Director General of the Khrunichev Space Centre on behalf of the Russian State Commission officially confirmed that the launch of CryoSat ended in a failure due to an anomaly in the launch sequence and expressed his regret to ESA and all partners involved.
Preliminary analysis of the telemetry data indicates that the first stage performed nominally. The second stage performed nominally until main engine cut-off was to occur. Due to a missing command from the onboard flight control system the main engine continued to operate until depletion of the remaining fuel.
As a consequence, the separation of the second stage from upper stage did not occur. Thus, the combined stack of the two stages and the CryoSat satellite fell into the nominal drop zone north of Greenland close to the North Pole into high seas with no consequences to populated areas.
An investigating commission by the Russian State authorities has been established to further analyze the reasons for the failure, results are expected within the next weeks. This commission will work in close cooperation with a failure investigation board consisting of Eurockot, ESA and Khrunichev representatives.
This information is released at the same time by Eurockot and ESA.
Original Source: ESA News Release