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MOSCOW, August 7 (Itar-Tass) — Orbiting of the Briz-M upper stage and two satellites ended in a failure on Tuesday. The Briz-M and the two satellites were not found in the transfer orbit. The signal from the upper stage was received from an emergency intermediate orbit,” a spokesman for the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roskosmos) reported.
According to preliminary information, the ignition of the cruse engine unit of the Briz-M upper stage took place at the estimated time. The engine unit’s shutdown occurred already in seven seconds, instead of the estimated 18 minutes and 5 seconds. “The upper stage is currently being tracked by equipment of the Aerospace Defence Troops of the Federal Space Agency. The situation is being analysed,” Alexei Kuznetsov, the Roskosmos spokesman, said.
“On August 6 at 23:31 MSK, the Proton-M carrier rocket with the Briz-M upper stage and two spacecraft – Russia’s Express-MD2 and Indonesian Telkom-3 satellites was carried out from launch 81 of the Baikonur cosmodrome,” Kuznetsov said.
At 23:41, Moscow time, the upper stage and spacecraft separated from the carrier rocket.
According to Kuznetsov, the separation of the spacecraft - the Russian Express-MD2 and Indonesian Telkom-3 from the Briz-M upper stage and their placement on the target orbit was to take place in the period from 08:30 MSK to 09:15 MSK on August 7.