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ILS: Tass Proton statement “unsubstantiated”

October 1, 2019

By Chris Forrester

Last week, it was reported that an inspection of the two satellites aboard an International Launch Services (ILS) rocket found that the satellites had not been correctly installed. Our source was from Russian news agency TASS, which claimed that one of the rocket’s satellites “was incorrectly attached” within the rocket’s fairing.

It seems the reports were not accurate.

The Proton rocket is carrying two satellites: Eutelsat 5WB and Northrop Grumman’s MEV-1 space tug, were due to be launched on a Russian Proton rocket on September 30th.

Kirk Pysher, CEO at ILS, states that the TASS claim is “unsubstantiated” and the delay to the launch is down to an electrical fault.

Pysher says: “The issue that resulted in the postponement was actually found during electrical testing of the upper stage control system.  The issue is currently being investigated by [rocket builder] Khrunichev and going through a rigorous review process with the appropriate Russian independent quality assessment teams.  Once the review process is completed and all required parties confirm the issue is understood and any required corrective actions completed we will announce a new launch date.  Currently, both the MEV-1 and Eutelsat E5WB spacecraft are healthy inside the comfort of the payload fairing.”

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