Russia suspends launch of Proton-M rockets

Updated: 2011-08-23 16:49


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MOSCOW - Launches of the Proton-M rocket had been suspended pending the outcome of a probe into a failed satellite orbit, Russian Federal Space Agency Roscosmos said Tuesday.

The suspension puts in doubt the launch of a Proton-M with a military satellite scheduled for August 31 from Kazakhstan's Baikonur space center.

Roscosmos is investigating why an Express-AM4 communications satellite failed to enter its correct orbit after it was launched on a Proton rocket on August 18.

The high-powered satellite was lost hours after the launch due to a malfunction of the Proton rocket.

The Roscosmos said the satellite had been found in an off-design orbit and a joint working group was looking at ways to return it to its designated orbit.

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