Moscow: Russia conducted the launch of a Proton-M rocket with a telecommunications satellite late Monday.
According to Russia’s federal space agency Roscosmos, the Russian Proton-M launch vehicle carrying the Dutch SES-5 telecoms satellite lifted off from the Baikonur Space Centre in Kazakhstan after a series of delays, RIA Novosti reported.
The SES-5, built by US company Space Systems/Loral for the Dutch operator SES World Skies, has been designed to provide various satellite services to customers in Africa, Middle East and Europe. The satellite has a life span of 15 years.
“The launch occurred at the calculated time. The separation of the spacecraft from the Briz-M upper-stage rocket is expected at 07.50 a.m. Moscow time July 10,” said Roscosmos’s spokesperson.
Russia earlier deferred Proton-M rocket’s launch twice due to technical reasons, Xinhua reported.
On June 19, the rocket was removed from its launching pad ahead of the launch due to a technical error, according to Roscosmos.
During pre-launch tests, a malfunction was detected in the guiding system of the rocket’s first stage, Roscosmos said.
On July 7, Roscosmos deferred the scheduled launch again, saying further inspections of the rocket were needed. Local media reported later the second postpone was due to fuel tanks problems.