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Russia’s Proton-M carrier rocket delivered to Baikonur for launch of Eutelsat satellites

The new satellite will cover Southern Europe and North Africa

MOSCOW, July 31. /TASS/. A Proton-M carrier rocket intended to launch the MEV-1 (Mission Extension Vehicle) and the Eutelsat 5WB has been delivered to the Baikonur spaceport from the Khrunichev Space Center (part of Russia’s state space corporation Roscosmos), the Center’s press office reported on Wednesday.

"The echelon with the Proton-M space rocket’s parts (three stages of the carrier rocket, the booster, the adapter system and the nose fairing) has arrived at the technical compound of the Proton launch vehicle to gear up for the cluster launch of the [Eutelsat] space vehicles 5 West B and MEV," the press office said.

Representatives of the Khrunichev Space Center added that technological operations would soon begin at the assembly and test building 92A50 to prepare the rocket at the spaceport’s technical compound.

International Launch Services company signed a contract in 2016 with the European Eutelsat satellite communications operator for the launch of a Proton-M carrier rocket with a paired payload comprising the Eutelsat 5WB communications satellite and the MEV-1 first space vehicle designed to extend the satellite service life.

The Eutelsat 5WB will replace the Eutelsat 5WA satellite operating in orbit. The new satellite will cover Southern Europe and North Africa.

The previous launch of the Proton-M carrier rocket took place on July 13. It delivered the Spektr-RG space observatory into orbit.