MOSCOW, November 24. /TASS/. The launch of a Proton-M carrier rocket with Ekspress telecoms satellites is scheduled for 15:09 Moscow time on December 12, the federal space agency Roscosmos announced on Wednesday.
"A paired launch of Ekspress-AMU7 and Ekspress-AMU3 satellites with the help of the Proton-M carrier rocket and the Briz-M booster is scheduled for 15:09 Moscow time on December 12, 2021," Roscosmos said in a statement.
Roscosmos Chief Dmitry Rogozin earlier told TASS that the launch of the Ekspress-AMU3 and Ekspress-AMU7 telecoms satellites atop the Proton-M carrier rocket had been rescheduled from December 6 for December 12 over the need to carry out some work on the Briz-M upper stage. Roscosmos later specified that specialists of the Khrunichev Space Center had eliminated a fault found earlier on the Briz-M booster.
The Ekspress-AMU3 and Ekspress-AMU7 telecoms satellites were earlier expected to be launched in 2020. CEO of the Reshetnev Information Satellite Systems Company Nikolai Testoyedov told TASS in September last year that the production of the satellites was being delayed over the late delivery of payloads for these space vehicles from Italy due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Roscosmos Chief Rogozin announced in December last year that the launch of these satellites had been rescheduled for the end of 2021. Roscosmos announced its plans in mid-November to launch the satellites on December 6.