Nov 092014

Preparations for the launch of the European satellite Astra 2G scheduled for November 28 are continuing at the Baikonur space center, Alexander Shmygov, a spokesman for the Khrunichev research and production space center, told Interfax-AVN.

“All work is going according to schedule,” Shmygov said in commenting on online reports alleging that the satellite’s launch could be postponed to a later date.

A Briz-M upper stage to put the satellite into orbit was delivered to a fuelling station on Friday, and its high-pressure tanks are to be fueled on Saturday, Shmygov said.

A number of Internet reports suggested earlier that the companies providing insurance coverage for the upcoming launch had proposed that it be postponed, considering that a Briz-M upper stage used in the previous launch of an Express-AM6 satellite had placed it into the wrong orbit. “Underwriters’ faith in Russian hardware in general, and in Proton in particular, has been shaken,” one insurance official said. “I mean, after all, the last launch dropped the satellite 2,500 kilometers short of its destination.”


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