WASHINGTON — A Russian Proton heavy-lift rocket successfully launched the Express AM7 satellite for the Russian Satellite Communications Co. (RSCC) March 19 from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, the rocket’s manufacturer, Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center, said.

Proton Express AM7
A Russian Proton rocket lofts Express AM7 satellite. Credit: Yuzhny Space Center

The Express AM7 was built by Airbus Defence and Space of Europe and weighed approximately 5,700 kilogram at the time of separation from the rocket nine hours and 13 minutes after liftoff.

The satellite will be used to provide television, telephony, broadband and other services to RSCC customers in Russia, Europe and India.

The mission, arranged by the Russian government, was Proton’s second of the year and the second successful launch for RSCC since a May Proton failure destroyed the operator’s Express AM4R satellite.

This year’s first Proton flight, a commercial mission arranged by International Launch Services and conducted Feb. 1, placed the Inmarsat-5 F2 satellite into geostationary transfer orbit.


Warren Ferster is the Editor-in-Chief of SpaceNews and is responsible for all the news and editorial coverage in the weekly newspaper, the spacenews.com Web site and variety of specialty publications such as show dailies. He manages a staff of seven reporters...