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by Staff Writers
Moscow (Voice of Russia) Oct 03, 2013
The successful takeoff of a Proton-M Russian heavy launch vehicle from Baikonur on September 30 holds out hope for conducting another four Proton launches from that space center before the end of 2013, a Space Center spokesman told Interfax on Tuesday.
Proton launches were postponed after the July 2 accident and a number of payloads the launch vehicles were supposed to put into orbit accumulated.
The US radio satellite Sirius FM-6 was scheduled for positioning on October 20, and the Russian defense communication satellite Raduga-1M was due to be launched on November 5.
Two Proton-M launches were planned for December: the Inmarsat 5F1 mission was scheduled for December 8 and the Russian Express-AM5 mission was due on December 26, the source said.
Baikonur crews are working on the Sirius FM-6 and Raduga-1M programs now.
"The satellites are undergoing autonomous preparation for launch. A Briz-M upper stage assigned for the Sirius FM-6 mission is now being transported to the fueling station. Its high pressure tanks will be filled with fuel," the source said.
The Proton launch schedule "is extremely tight and there will be no pauses between launch missions," he said.
The schedule will be equally busy during the first quarter of 2014 when four launches are expected to occur for positioning Express AT1 and Express AT2 (a cluster launch of two satellites), Express AM4R, Turksat 4A and Inmarsat 5F2.
Source: Voice of Russia
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