Topic: Russian space programs
- Russia Set to Launch Proton Rocket With Telecoms Satellite
- Russian Official Plays Down Concerns on Future of Proton
- Russian Proton-M Launches Military Satellite
- Russia’s Proton-M Rocket Puts US Satellite into Orbit
MOSCOW, December 26 (RIA Novosti) – A Russian Proton-M heavy-lift rocket put a government communications satellite into orbit on Thursday in the final launch of the year for the Russian space industry.
The rocket lifted off at 2:50 p.m. Moscow time from the Baikonur space center in a televised broadcast. Its payload, a 3.4-ton Express-AM5 communications satellite, was successfully placed into a parking orbit nine minutes later.
The satellite sits atop a Briz-M upper stage that will place the satellite in a geostationary orbit during a subsequent burn later Thursday night.
The Express-AM5 will provide communications services for the Russian government as well as digital television and radio signals and two-way VSAT transmissions.
It was designed by Krasnoyarsk-based Reshetnev Information Satellite Systems, which also oversaw the production of Russia’s GLONASS navigation satellites.
The satellite will be operated by a communications company owned by the Russian government and has an expected lifetime of 15 years.
A second satellite in the series, the Express-AM6, is scheduled for launch next year.
The future of Proton launches at Baikonur was thrown into doubt earlier this year after a Proton exploded in July raining hundreds of tons of toxic chemicals on the Kazakh countryside. Moscow and Astana signed a three-year roadmap earlier this week on the joint use of Baikonur, the only launch site for Proton.
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The main event of the third day of the 11th meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi was the closing session with President Vladimir Putin. The atmosphere was calm and open, despite the current political tensions and the Russia-West confrontation. The Russian president said that it corresponded to the spirit of the Valdai Club.