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Proton-M launch postponed until Feb. 1 as British satellite not ready — source

January 16, 2015, 10:25 UTC+3
Inmarsat-5 F2 is the second out of three satellites of the fifth generation produced to provide communications services for North and South Americas and the Atlantic region
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© ITAR-TASS/Roscosmos

MOSCOW, January 16. /TASS/. The launch of Proton-M carrier rocket has been postponed from January 30 until February 1 due to a technical malfunction of one of the blocks of Britain’s Inmarsat-5F2 communications satellite, a Baikonur space center source said on Friday.

“The launch has been postponed until February 1. The reason is that Inmarsat spacecraft is not ready,” the source said. Although the failure was rectified, the schedule of the pre-launch preparations has been delayed for two days, he added.

The operations of Proton carrier rocket and the Briz-M upper stage are normal, he said.

Russia’s space agency Roscosmos told TASS that it has yet not received official documents from the Inmarsat company requesting to postpone the launch.

Earlier reports said the rocket was to put the communications satellite in super-synchronous transfer orbit at an altitude of 65,000 kilometers.

The Inmarsat-5F2 is the second of three Inmarsat satellites of the fifth generation. It is designed to provide communications services in North and South Americas, as well as in the Atlantic region. The first of these satellites was successfully launched by a Proton-M carrier rocket in December 2013.

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