As reported by RIA Novosti, one of two military satellites, launched from the Russian Plesetsk Cosmodrome in the Arkhangelsk region, failed to separate from the booster rocket.
The satellite was created to scan the Earth's oceans and weather systems from space, and to spot submarines. It took a decade to develop.
An investigation has been opened and early indications suggest there was a problem with the satellite's attachment to the upper-stage rocket, which did not open up in time.
The Russian Ministry of Defence has not issued any comments yet.
The satellite is expected to fall back to Earth within the next couple of days and burn up in the atmosphere.