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First commercial launch of Proton after engine checks due in April

February 03, 8:05 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Roscosmos says the federal program will not be affected by Proton troubles

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 Proton-M carrier rocket

Proton-M carrier rocket

© Oleg Urusov/TASS

MOSCOW, February 3. /TASS/. The first commercial launch of the Proton-M carrier rocket after engine checks is scheduled to take place in April, the head of Russian space corporation Roscosmos Igor Komarov said Friday.

"We are now in talks with the contractor, but the first commercial launch of the Proton-M will take place in early April," he said in an interview with the Rossiya 24 TV channel.

He said the federal program will not be affected by Proton troubles.

"All rockets that should be launched under the state order are available," he said.

Previously, Roscosmos had recalled all engines equipping the Proton’s second and third stages made by the Voronezh Mechanical Plant (VMZ). According to Roscosmos, a more expensive solder alloy, which did not meet the requirements specification, was used by the plant as part of the engine production.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, who is in charge of the defense and space industry, later said engines in three Proton-M rockets will have to be dismantled and replaced.

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