Thursday, October 3, 2013

Russia Plans 4 Proton Rocket Launches by Year-End

Proton-M carrier rocket being launched from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan, September 30 © Roscosmos

Russia is planning to launch four more Proton carrier rockets by the end of this year, following a successful launch in September after a long suspension, Russia’s space agency Roscosmos said Wednesday. “We have planned a total of five launches. One has been carried out, and four more are left to go by the end of the year,” said Denis Lyskov, Roscosmos’ deputy head. The suspension of Proton launches was ordered in July after a Proton-M rocket carrying three satellites for the Glonass positioning system, Russia’s answer to the GPS, crashed in a ball of flames seconds after blasting off from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan.

The three-month hiatus successfully ended on September 30, when a Proton-M rocket with a Briz-M booster put a European telecom satellite into orbit.

A space industry source told RIA Novosti on Tuesday that Roscosmos had scheduled a total of 14 space launches by the end of this year.

According to the source, the next Proton-M launch is expected on October 20 to orbit the Sirius FM-6 telecom satellite.

The subsequent Proton launches have been scheduled for November 5, December 8 and December 26, the source said.

Credit: RIA Novosti

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