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MOSCOW, June 7. /TASS/. Russia plans five Proton-M carrier rocket launches this year, including three commercial launches, Khrunichev Space Center CEO Andrei Kalinovsky told TASS on Wednesday.
"Our plans for this year also additionally include four Proton-M carrier rocket launches. These are two commercial launches with Amazonas 5 and AsiaSat 9 satellites, and also two federal launches," the chief executive said.
Also, a Proton-M carrier rocket is planned to blast off from the Baikonur space center on June 8 to orbit an EchoStar-21 satellite. The launch is scheduled for 06:45 Moscow time.
The previous launch of the Proton carrier rocket took place on June 9, 2016. The launcher delivered an Intelsat-31 commercial satellite into orbit.
The order book of Russia’s Khrunichev Space Center comprises eight contracts through 2023 to launch 15 Proton-M carrier rockets for commercial purposes, Kalinovsky says:
"Now we have eight existing contracts for 15 launches through 2023."
Although Russia has not launched Proton-M carrier rockets for almost one year, none of customers has turned to rivals of the Khrunichev Space Center on the market of space launches, he said.
"No, we don’t have any of the contracts terminated today. No one has left us," Kalinovsky stressed.
Russia plans to launch a Proton-M carrier rocket with an EchoStar-21 commercial satellite from the Baikonur space center on June 8. The launch is scheduled for 06:45 Moscow time.
Russia also intends to orbit Amazonas 5 and AsiaSat 9 commercial satellites until the end of the year.