The Russian government is investigating flaws found in Proton rocket engines, ordering all suspect components to be replaced before the heavy-lift booster can resume launches and promising penalties for those responsible for allowing substandard parts to slip through inspection.
The first launch of a Russian Proton rocket since June has been delayed until at least January to conduct additional checks on the three-stage booster and its Breeze M upper stage, Russian space officials said.
Khrunichev and International Launch Services, the team behind Russia’s Proton rocket, are developing two scaled-down versions of the booster in a bid to capture a wider share of the commercial launch market, the companies announced last week.
South Korea’s space agency has signed a contract to launch an Earth observation satellite into orbit in 2020 aboard Russia’s Angara rocket, giving the new booster its first commercial customer, International Launch Services announced Monday.
The launch of an EchoStar communications satellite to cover Europe has been delayed to October to allow Russian engineers to complete an inquiry into a glitch suffered during a Proton rocket flight in June, industry officials said.
Debuting lighter structural components to carry heavier satellites into orbit, a Russian Proton rocket fired into space from Kazakhstan on Thursday and successfully placed a U.S.-built television broadcast craft into orbit for Intelsat and DirecTV.
A Russian Proton rocket lifted off Thursday with a U.S.-built communications satellite to broadcast television over Latin America, firing into orbit from the historic Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
An International Launch Services Proton rocket lifted off with a communications satellite for Intelsat and DirecTV at 0710 GMT (3:10 a.m. EDT) Thursday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan after a one-day delay to resolve an issue with an electrical connector on the booster.
A Russian Proton rocket rolled out to a launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome on Sunday with a commercial communications satellite to broadcast high-definition television channels to millions of homes across Latin America.
Ground controllers are running Europe’s ExoMars orbiter through a post-launch checkup a week after its successful liftoff aboard a Proton rocket, and a first look at the probe’s systems has revealed no problems, the mission’s flight director said Tuesday.