The Proton rocket, which has been grounded ever since a July 2 explosion just after launch, was scheduled to return to flight on September 17 carrying the SES satellite ASTRA 2E. But on September 12, the International Launch Services (ILS) which manages Proton’s commercial flights, announced a delay.

On September 11, Khrunichev engineers at the launch site received an out of tolerance reading in the first stage of the vehicle. It was determined that further investigation is necessary, requiring the launch vehicle be returned to the processing hall for additional testing. The vehicle and satellite remain in a safe configuration at the launch site.

ILS has not yet rescheduled the launch, but the problem is said to be routine.

Image Caption: Proton-M (Credits: RIA Novosti).


About the author

Merryl Azriel

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Having wandered into professional writing and editing after a decade in engineering, science, and management, Merryl now enjoys reintegrating the dichotomy by bringing space technology and policy within reach of an interested public. After three years as Space Safety Magazine’s Managing Editor, Merryl semi-retired to Visiting Contributor and manager of the campaign to bring the International Space Station collaboration to the attention of the Nobel Peace Prize committee. She keeps her pencil sharp as Proposal Manager for U.S. government contractor CSRA.

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