TS News - Khrunichev Plans More Commercial Proton Launches

TELE-satellit News, 26 February 1997

Khrunichev Plans More Commercial Proton Launches
  MOSCOW, Russia, 97/02/26 (SatND) -- Russia plans eight commercial Proton
launches for foreign companies in 1997, putting a total of 20 satellites
into their respective orbits. A Khrunichev Space Centre spokesman said the
first of those launches would be in May with AT&T's Telstar 501 on board.
It will be followed by PanAmSat's PAS-5 (July,) SES' Astra 1G (August,)
Rupert Murdoch's SKY 1 (September) and Astra 2A.

  By the way: rumour has it that this bird will find its orbital position
occupied by another satellite -- SES' competitors Eutelsat claim it's
theirs. Rupert Murdoch hoped to start his digital venture for the UK from
the very position in question, 28.2E that is, but he probably has enough
spare capacity on other Astras to do it anyway. Back to Russia where the
last commercial launch for 1997 will take place in December when an Asiasat
is to hit the skies. There will also be launches with non-geostationary
satellites, explaining the total of 20 satellites: Motorola's Iridium
project has booked two launches for seven satellites each at a time. Six of
the launches will be made on behalf of ILS, the International Launch
Services venture set up by Lockheed-Martin and Khrunichev.

  By: Peter Klanowski
  Source: Sat-ND

(c)TELE-satellit 1997. All rights reserved.

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