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Source says launch of Proton rocket with US communication satellite postponed

December 26, 2016, 11:53 UTC+3
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MOSCOW, December 26. /TASS/. Launch of Proton-M rocket with US communication satellite EchoStar 21 has been postponed, apparently till mid-January, a source in the space rocket industry has told TASS.

"At this point it looks like the launch has been delayed till mid-January," the source said.

Earlier, the Khrunichev Center (manufacturer of the Proton-M rocket) said that the launch of the rocket from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan has been postponed for more checks of the rocket and the booster unit. The manufacturer has mentioned no new date of the launch.

Originally, the rocket was to blast off in the first quarter of 2016. The launch has been repeatedly postponed.

The EchoStar-21 satellite (previously named EchoStar T2 and TerreStar 2), manufactured by Space Systems/Loral, is meant to provide communication services in Europe. It is going to become a sixth satellite in the orbital group EchoStar, put in space with a Proton rocket.

The previous launch took place on June 9. The Intelsat 31 satellite was put in space.

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