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Russia set for launch of Proton-M carrier rocket with Mexican satellite

RIA Novosti

01:25 29/09/2011 MOSCOW, September 29 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's Proton-M carrier rocket with a Mexican telecommunications satellite, QuetzSat-1, will be launched on Thursday from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan, a spokesman for the Russian Space Agency (Roscosmos) said.

"The launch of the Proton-M carrier rocket with QuetzSat-1 satellite has been scheduled for Thursday at 22:32 Moscow time [18:32 GMT]. The separation of the satellite from the carrier rocket has been slated for Friday at 7:45 Moscow time [3:45 GMT]," the spokesman said.

This will be a second launch of Proton-M carrier rockets equipped with Briz-M boosters, following a recent string of launch failures in the Russian aerospace industry.

On August 18, a Russian Proton-M rocket lost an Express-AM4 satellite that was designed to provide digital television and secure government communications for Siberia and the Far East.

One week after the Express-AM4 went off course, a Soyuz-U booster malfunctioned, preventing a Progress M-12M cargo spacecraft from reaching orbit and a link-up with the International Space Station (ISS).

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