Earlier today, a Russian Proton-M rocket failed less than a minute after launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, returning to the Earth completely aflame. A Russian newsfeed captured the entire ill-fated journey — including the massive fireball explosion.

No casualties were reported, but a toxic cloud is moving towards the nearby city of Baikonur. Also, debris may have landed near another pad used by International Launch Services (ILS), which is a joint U.S./Russia venture for commercial launches.

The failed launch sucks for a couple of reasons.

First, it was supposed to deliver three of Russia's GLONASS GPS satellites into orbit.

Second, a Proton-M rocket was scheduled to deliver Russia's Nauka laboratory module to the International Space Station later this year, or early next. If the resulting investigation of today's launch finds a problem with the rocket, that mission could very well be delayed.

It's not immediately obvious why the rocket failed.

Update: Here's a wide view shot (h/t to Dwayne Day).

[Universe Today & NBC]