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Troubled Proton-M to Blast off after December 2012 Embargo

RIA Novosti

02:44 26/03/2013 BAIKONUR, March 26 (RIA Novosti) - Russia’s Proton-M carrier rocket will blast off on Tuesday from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan for the first time since last December’s failure, a spokesman for the Russian space agency Roscosmos told RIA Novosti.

“The blastoff of Proton is scheduled for 23:06 Moscow time [7:06 p.m. GMT] on Tuesday. The separation of the spacecraft from the Briz-M booster is slated for 08:19 Moscow time [4:19 a.m. GMT] on Wednesday, March 27,” he said.

The launch of Proton-M with a Mexican communication satellite, SatMex-8, was initially scheduled for December 27, but was postponed indefinitely following the Yamal-402 satellite trouble. The satellite separated four minutes early due to an apparent glitch in the Briz-M booster.

Yamal-402 manufacturer, Thales Alenia Space, carried out a four-step recovery operation, which required the use of the satellite’s own engines and fuel reserves. Yamal reached its designated geostationary orbit on December 15, but its life span has been significantly reduced.

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