A Blagovest communications spacecraft lifted off Monday aboard a Proton rocket to complete a network of four relay satellites in geostationary orbit for the Russian military. The Proton rocket’s Breeze M upper stage successfully delivered the Blagovest spacecraft to its intended orbit nine hours later.
International Launch Services, facing headwinds in a commercial launch market now largely shaped by billionaires and satellite miniaturization, has touted a new relationship with the Russian space agency and Glavkosmos as a means to drive down Proton rocket prices, make Russian space industry more friendly to the commercial market, and diversify its offerings.
A Russian military communications satellite launched Friday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, riding a Proton rocket and Breeze M upper stage into orbit on just the second Proton flight this year, the lowest annual flight rate for Russia’s most powerful operational launcher since the 1960s.
A Russian Proton rocket lifted off Thursday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan with the AsiaSat 9 satellite destined to provide television broadcast, video networking and data delivery services over the Asia-Pacific region. Launch occurred at 1852:16 GMT (2:52:16 p.m. EDT), beginning a series of maneuvers expected to last nine hours before AsiaSat 9 is deployed from the rocket.