MOSCOW, August 18. /TASS/. A Proton-M carrier rocket with the Inmarsat-5F3 spacecraft will be launched at 14:44 Moscow Time (11:44 UTC) August 28 in what will be its first blastoff after an accident in May, a space industry source said Tuesday.
"The launch is scheduled for 14:44 August 28," the source told TASS.
The satellite will be put into target orbit in 15 hours 31 minute - from the moment of the launch until separation of the spacecraft from the Briz-M upper stage.
Proton launches were suspended after Russia lost a Proton carrier rocket with a Mexican satellite aboard during an abortive launch on May 16, which occurred a year after a similar accident.
The Proton-M carrier rocket with the Briz-M acceleration unit and Mexica’s Mexsat-1 satellite blasted off from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan at 08:47 a.m. Moscow time (05:47 UTC) on May 16. The Briz-M acceleration unit with the Mexican satellite was expected to separate from the carrier rocket at 08:57 a.m. Moscow time (05:57 UTC).
However, a minute before the designated separation, an emergency situation occurred at an altitude of 161 kilometers, due to which the rocket’s head section and third stage failed to separate and burnt up in the dense layers of the Earth’s atmosphere above the Trans-Baikal area in East Siberia.
Russian Federal Space Agency Roscosmos concluded that the carrier rocket was lost due to a construction fault that had led to a Proton fall back in 1988.