Proton lifted off at 5:25 p.m. Eastern from Russia’s Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on an 18-hour mission to deploy the geostationary satellites, according to Roscosmos.
Yuri Prokhorov, RSCC’s chief executive, said the company wants to have the satellites in orbit in 2024 to provide Ku-band coverage to Russia’s Far North.
Russian Satellite Communications Company (RSCC) made its first payments to the satellite manufacturing team building its next two satellites on Dec. 28, the state-owned satellite operator announced.
Satellite fleet operator Eutelsat has paid its Russian counterpart, Russian Satellite Communications Co. (RCSS), monies overdue on a multi-year contract valued more than 400 million euros ($424 million) despite an ongoing legal battle between the Russian government and the shareholders of the former Yukos oil company.
Decisions by separate French courts have removed an immediate threat to the business relationship between French and European launch-service providers and satellite fleet operators caught up in the dispute between the Russian government and the former shareholders of Russia’s Yukos energy company.