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Russia launches first Proton carrier rocket after May accident

August 28, 2015, 15:16 UTC+3
The upper stage of Russia’s Proton-M carrier rocket comprising the Briz-M booster and the UK satellite Inmarsat-5F3 has separated from the rocket
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Proton carrier rocket launch (archive)

Proton carrier rocket launch (archive)

© ITAR-TASS/Oleg Urusov

MOSCOW, August 28. /TASS/. Russia’s Proton-M carrier rocket with the UK communications satellite Inmarsat-5F3 has blasted off from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan, the Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) told TASS on Friday.

The press office of the Federal Space Agency reported that the upper stage of Russia’s Proton-M carrier rocket comprising the Briz-M booster and the UK satellite Inmarsat-5F3 has separated from the rocket.

"The separation of the booster and the satellite [from the rocket] took place at the designated time. The separation of the satellite from the booster is scheduled for 03:15 GMT on August 29," the press office said.

This is the first launch of the Proton carrier rocket after the May accident. The UK satellite was intended to be put into orbit in late May. However, the launch was delayed over the Proton carrier rocket crash on May 16, a year after a similar accident.

Roscosmos has come to the conclusion that a design error dragging on since 1988 was the cause for the Proton carrier rocket’s crash. Roscosmos also said a plan of measures to remove the causes of the accident had been developed and implemented.

Inmarsat-5F3 is a fifth-generation telecommunications satellite of the international satellite operator Inmarsat. It was manufactured by the US company Boeing. The satellite will join the Global Express new global system of mobile satellite services, which will consist of four satellites and six Inmarsat ground stations. The company will invest $1.2 billion in its infrastructure and space segment.

To date, two satellites of the new system have been launched. The first, Inmarsat-5F1, was launched in late 2013. Its ··coverage area includes Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. The Inmarsat-5F2 satellite is to provide telecommunications services in North America and South America and in the Atlantic. The third satellite will provide communications services to the Pacific region.

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