Launch of Russian rocket fails, pieces fall in Kazakhstan

An unmanned Russian rocket carrying a Japanese communications satellite malfunctioned after liftoff Thursday and crashed in Kazakhstan, officials said. No one was hurt. The Proton-M rocket failed to put the JCSAT-11 satellite into orbit because of a problem during operation of the second stage, the US-based American-Russian joint venture International Launch Services said. Under an agreement with Kazakhstan, launches of Proton rockets from Baikonur were suspended until the cause of the crash is determined, Vorobyov said.