Russia’s Proton Rocket Makes Return With Launch Of U.S. Satellite
Russia has sent a U.S. satellite into space atop a Proton rocket, in the first launch of one of the workhorses of Moscow’s space program in a year following a series of setbacks.
The Proton-M rocket carrying the Echostar-21 satellite was “successfully launched” from the Russian-leased Baikonur Cosmodrome in southern Kazakhstan on June 8, the Russian space agency Roscosmos said.
“All the phases went off as scheduled,” a statement said.
Echostar-21 is set to be put into its designated orbit just before 4 p.m. Moscow time.
The U.S. customer, mobile telephony operator EchoStar Corporation, says its satellite will provide telecommunication services in Europe.
Proton launches had been grounded since June 2016 due to problems with the rocket’s engines.
The launch vehicle has been in service since 1965.
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