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Russia’s Proton rocket readies for 400th launch

November 24, 2014, 11:24 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The carrier rocket will orbit a European Astra-2G telecommunications satellite

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Proton rocket (archive)

Proton rocket (archive)

© ITAR-TASS/Oleg Urusov

MOSCOW, November 24. /TASS/. Russian Proton-M carrier rocket with a European Astra-2G telecommunications satellite is preparing for its 400th launch on November 28, a spokesman for the Khrunichev research and production space center said on Monday.

The carrier rocket has been installed on the launch pad at the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan. Friday’s launch will be also Proton’s seventh this year, spokesman Alexander Shmygov said.

“After the service tower was moved to the rocket and the communications were connected, the specialists of the Khrunichev center and Roscosmos enterprises started works in line with the first day schedule,” he said.

The contract on using Proton-M for the launch of Astra-2G was signed with the International Launch Services Inc. The controlling stake in the ILS belongs to the Khrunichev center, which is a developer and manufacturer of Proton-M and the upper stage Briz-M.

Proton is used for both commercial and Russian government space launches. The first Proton rocket was launched in 1965.

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