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A Lonely Vladimir Putin Looks On As Rocket Launch Fails

Russia’s president had hoped to enjoy a milestone rocket test from a Dr. Evil-esque mancave.

Russia excitedly prepared for the first flight of the Angara rocket, a $3 billion new-generation shuttle 20 years in the making, on Friday.

President Vladimir Putin awaited the launch sitting alone, Bond villain-style, at the head of a long table in a spacious room in the Kremlin.

But then, disaster struck — the rocket’s own safety system aborted the takeoff.

Russia’s technical elite looked on in horror.

A visibly crestfallen Putin ordered them to find out the reason for the failed launch in one hour.

“I’m sorry, Vladimir, I’m afraid I can’t do that.”

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Max Seddon is a world correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in Kiev. Seddon reports on Ukraine and Russia.
Contact Max Seddon at max.seddon@buzzfeed.com
 
 
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