5 Oct 2019 13:35

Launch of Proton-M rocket carrying two telecom satellites scheduled for Oct 9 - Roscosmos

MOSCOW. Oct 5 (Interfax) - A Proton-M carrier rocket has been installed on a launch site at the Baikonur Cosmodrome; it is to place into orbit the Eutelsat 5 West B and Mission Extension Vehicle-1 telecom satellites, Roscosmos said.

The rocket's launch is due at 1:17:56 p.m. Moscow time on October 9, the Russian state corporation Roscosmos said on Saturday.

"This morning, October 5, as per the work schedule, a space rocket was transported from the filling ground to the launch site of Ground No 200 of the Cosmodrome. After the rocket's vertical orientation was completed, a servicing unit was brought up to it and the designated staff from Roscosmos firms started operations scheduled for the day," Roscosmos said.

The rocket was due to blast off from the Baikonur on September 30 but then on September 24, Roscosmos said that its launch had been moved to a later date.

Roscosmos head Dmitry Rogozin said at a press conference on September 25 that the launch of a Proton-M rocket had been postponed until mid-October due to some problems in the interaction between the rocket's systems and foreign satellites on board.

The rocket was due to put Eutelsat 5 West B and MEV-1 satellites into orbit. Eutelsat 5 West B will replace Eutelsat 5 West A in orbit and provide telecom services in France, Italy, and Algeria.

MEV-1 (Mission Extension Vehicle) is the first of its kind. It may dock with Intelsat 901 satellites and provide them with servicing to extend their operation in orbit.