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Launches of rockets Proton-M to resume not earlier than in autumn

July 02, 2014, 15:00 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, July 02. /ITAR-TASS/. Launches of boosters Proton-M which were suspended after the rocket’s crash on May 16 will resume not earlier than in the autumn of this year, head of Russian Federal Space Agency Roscosmos Oleg Ostapenko told ITAR-TASS on Wednesday.

“After all checks, we will decide on the dates of launches and will plan them. I would not name concrete deadlines. In any case, we will do this as quickly as possible, neither dragging on nor disrupting the program of launches. We will seek to meet a deadline of two or three months,” he said, noting that most likely Proton rockets would not be launched this summer.

Rocket Proton-M launched with telecommunications satellite Express-AM4R from spaceport Baikonur on May 16 burnt down in dense layers of the atmosphere. The block of upper stage rocket Briz-M with the satellite failed to separate from the rocket, and the satellite was not orbited.

“Analytical and technical measures are being taken, we do not stop the probe after the interdepartmental commission had drawn its resolution (the committee has completed its work on June 8) and are examining the situation more thoroughly. Roscosmos specialists are already doing this work,” the Roscosmos head said.

Meanwhile, he noted sequence of launches would not be changed. “Those launch vehicles, which were on the schedule of launching program, will blast off in the same sequence. At present, we did not change anything in terms of sequence,” Ostapenko said.

This means that Russian telecommunications satellite Express-AM6 should be orbited in Proton-M first launch after the rocket crash. At first, this launch was planned on July 15 from spaceport Baikonur.

Several media reported with the reference to sources on Wednesday that first Proton launch after the rocket breakdown would be made with a broadcasting satellite Luch.

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