12 Proton launches this year

Russia’s Krunichev space centre, responsible for the manufacture of its Proton rockets along with the Briz-M booster, says it will launch a dozen vehicles this year. Three had already been launched and a further nine would be launched from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan, Khrunichev CEO Alexander Seliverstov told reporters. Washington-based International Launch Services is responsible for the sales and marketing of the Proton+Briz-M combination.

Meanwhile, the new Krunichev-produced Angara-5 heavy rocket would be launched from the Vostochny cosmodrome in the Far Eastern Amur region after its construction was completed, Khrunichev general designer Yuri Bakhvalov said. Bakhvalov said the first launch of an Angara-5, which is capable of placing manned spacecraft in orbit, was scheduled for late 2014 from the existing Plesetsk space site in Northern Russia.

Ilyin said, if federal space agency Roscosmos gave the green light to that experiment, it could be conducted within three to five years.

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