Proton failure delays Astra 2E launch

The launch of the Astra 2E satellite scheduled for July 21 is postponed pending investigation into the recent failed Proton launch.

The launch of the Astra satellite is contracted to International Launch Services (ILS), who is he exclusive partner for the commercial Proton launches.

On July 2, the launch of the Proton M/Block DM-03 mission with three Glonass navigational satellites for the Russian Federal Government resulted in a failure. About ten seconds after lift-off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, the rocket veered off of its flight path and returned to earth.

The Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) has set up a special commission to determine the cause of the failure and telemetry is currently being amassed and processed. This government launch was not managed by ILS.

Following the commission’s findings, ILS will conduct its own Failure Review Oversight Board (FROB). The FROB will review the commission’s findings and corrective action plan, in accordance with U.S. and Russian government export control regulations. The FROB will include representatives from ILS customers, insurance underwriters and technical experts from the industry.