A Proton takes a nose dive at the Baikonur Cosmodrome. (Credit: Tsenki TV)
The Soviet & Russian space programs have traditionally had a high launch rate, which also resulted in a fair number of partial and complete failures. For the past 30 years, the program has experienced 61 incidents or an average of about one per year. The current string of annual failures stretches back to 2004.
The chart below chronicles the partial and complete failures experienced over the last three decades. (Note: Some of the incidents involve Zenit boosters produced by former Soviet factories in Ukraine. These rockets usually fly with Russian-produced upper stages. Dnepr was also a joint program with Ukraine.)
SOVIET-RUSSIAN LAUNCH FAILURES, 1988 – 2018
January 18, 1988
Third stage failure due to disintegration of propellant feed line
February 17, 1988
Uragan #23, Uragan #24, Uragan #25
Blok D failure caused by ingestion of debris
July 09, 1988
July 27, 1988
First stage engine failure.
November 11, 1988
June 9, 1989