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Emergency landing of satellite transport plane not to delay space launch — company

October 28, 2014, 15:41 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The Astra 2G satellite, which was on board the transport plane that made emergency landing in Russia Tuesday, will be launched on time

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MOSCOW, October 28. /TASS/. " A transport plane with the European communications satellite Astra 2G on board made an emergency landing with the consent of the customer of the space project; the incident will not cause delay of space launching of the space apparatus Astra 2G scheduled from Baikonur cosmodrome for the end of November," Taisia Nikitenko, spokeswoman for the Volga-Dnepr group of companies to which the transport plane belongs, said Tuesday.

"The plane with the space apparatus on board, which made an emergency landing at Vostochny airport in Ulyanovsk on Tuesday, had a defect in one of its engines which is being eliminated; after the repairs are through the plane will continue the flight," the spokeswoman said.

"The transportation of the space apparatus was not urgent, and the Volga-Dnepr company coordinated a technical landing with the customer at Vostochny airport in Ulyanovsk, which is the company’s main air harbor," the spokeswoman said.

“One of the four plane engines was off because of wrong functioning of one of its parameters, which had been detected by a flight engineer. Then, the chief pilot ordered to switch off the defected engine," the spokeswoman said.

"If the transportation had been urgent the plane would have continued the flight because it can move, supported by two engines only," she said.

Earlier, a source at the Ulyanovsk airport confirmed that the plane could have continued the flight without making emergency landing, but the plane crew decided to take no risks.

The latest reports from Ulyanovsk airport said that all the repairs were through and that the defected parts of the plane engine had been replaced. In a short while the plane will resume the flight on air route Toulouse-Moscow-Baikonur, the press service of the Volga- Dnepr company said.

The Astra 2G communication satellite is to be launched by a Proton-M carrier rocket from Baikonur cosmodrome in the end of November to provide communication services on the territory of a number of European states, in Central Africa and in Asia.

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