Russia’s Proton rocket returned to service June 7, almost one year to the date from vehicle’s last flight, delivering a U.S. telecommunications satellite into geostationary transfer orbit.
The first launch of Russia’s Proton rocket in nearly a year is now scheduled for June 7, a nine-day slip driven by a review of the ground systems at the rocket’s launch site.
International Launch Services is adding a larger payload fairing for its Proton rocket, but deferring development of one of two smaller versions of the vehicle announced last year.
International Launch Services, the commercial arm of Proton rocket manufacturer Khrunichev, says it still expects to complete all three launches planned for 2017 once Proton returns to flight.
International Launch Services on Sept. 13 announced two new variants of its Proton rocket that will be sized to launch smaller geostationary satellites.
Tuesday's briefing begins with ILS being chosen to launch Korea's Kompsat-6 satellite on an Angara 1.2 rocket.
An International Launch Services Proton rocket, in the first flight of its latest and potentially final series of upgrades, on June 10 placed the Intelsat 31 commercial telecommunications satellite into geostationary transfer orbit.
Launch-service provider SpaceX on May 30 said it would meet with insurance underwriters in the coming weeks to discuss the company’s plans to certify used rocket stages as fit for reuse, a long-held SpaceX ambition as a way to reduce launch costs.
Inmarsat, worried that delays in the introduction of the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket will compromise a major new growth initiative, has booked an option to launch the Europasat/Hellas-sat 3 satellite aboard an International Launch Services Proton rocket in 2017, industry officials said.
An ILS Russian Proton rocket on Jan. 30 successfully placed the Eutelsat 9B commercial telecommunications satellite into orbit.
The company will pay more for a dedicated Ariane 5 launch in order to get the satellite in service before the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Managers of the Russian rocket are also using contract modifications, including schedule priority on Proton’s launch manifest for commercial missions and other benefits not directly related to prices.
International Launch Services on Sept. 11 said President Phil Slack is leaving the company after three years in his job and is being replaced by Kirk Pysher, who has been ILS’s mission assurance vice president.