Russia has suspended development of the Proton Medium rocket that U.S.-based International Launch Services (ILS) began marketing two years ago as its answer to SpaceX’s Falcon 9.
In his first interview as head of Russia’s Roscosmos space corporation, Dmitry Rogozin confirmed reports of the venerable Proton rocket’s coming demise and suggested Russia is looking to make its segment of the ISS more autonomous.
International Launch Services says Russia’s Proton rocket will be better able to compete for constellation launches, along with other missions, thanks to new orbits accessible through an upcoming variant of the rocket.
A review of more than 70 Russian rocket engines manufactured at a factory that used the wrong solder is now complete, according to the Russian state corporation Roscosmos.
The top executive with the U.S. firm that markets Russia's Proton rocket blasted what he characterized as a recent slew of misinformation surrounding the vehicle.
International Launch Services expects its new, scaled-down variant of Proton-M to be a more direct competitor with SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket than the current heavy-lift version ILS has used for decades.
International Launch Services completed its third and final 2017 commercial Proton mission today, launching the AsiaSat-9 telecommunications satellite from the Baikonur Cosmodrome.
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 Proton last launched almost exactly one year ago, having been grounded by technical issues since then.
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.
Nearly every engine stockpiled for use on upper stages of Proton rockets has defects, investigation concludes
The head of state rocket engine manufacturer Energomash, said that 71 engines require "complete overhauls" to correct defects found.
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.