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International Journal of Geophysics
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 297310, 15 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/297310
Research Article

Relationship of Worldwide Rocket Launch Crashes with Geophysical Parameters

1Institute of Physics of the Earth, Russian Academy of Sciences, Gruzinskaya Street 10-1, Moscow 123995, Russia
2Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy, Ringlaan 3 Avenue Circulaire, Brussels 1180, Belgium
3Space Research Institute (IKI), Russian Academy of Sciences, Profsoyuznaya Street 84/32, Moscow 117997, Russia

Received 7 November 2012; Revised 14 February 2013; Accepted 8 April 2013

Academic Editor: Umberta Tinivella

Copyright © 2013 N. Romanova et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

A statistical comparison of launch crashes at different worldwide space ports with geophysical factors has been performed. A comprehensive database has been compiled, which includes 50 years of information from the beginning of the space age in 1957 about launch crashes occurring world-wide. Special attention has been paid to statistics concerning launches at the largest space ports: Plesetsk, Baikonur, Cape Canaveral, and Vandenberg. In search of a possible influence of geophysical factors on launch failures, such parameters as the vehicle type, local time, season, sunspot number, high-energy electron fluxes, and solar proton events have been examined. Also, we have analyzed correlations with the geomagnetic indices as indirect indicators of the space weather condition. Regularities found in this study suggest that further detailed studies of space weather effects on launcher systems, especially in the high-latitude regions, should be performed.