May 20, 2015

It is too early to replace proton with Angara since this is a new rocket and it didn’t have enough time to accumulate positive flight history – Russian Academy of Cosmonautics named after Tsiolkovsky Andrei Ionin believes.

On Monday Russian Vice Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin demanded to abandon Proton and start using Angara instead.

“Proton is not the source of the problem, since it is the problem of the industry. It reminds me a story of not so long ago. When some people were saying “let’s abandon Bulava (submarine-launched ballistic missile) since it is falling”. But if there is a production fault no matter what the rocket is it will remain a fault. To my mind it is too early to replace Proton with any other heavy booster yet. Though it is inevitable we shouldn’t be in a hurry: heavy Angara was launched just once. To accept it into operation about 15-20 successful test launches are needed and it takes several years”, – Ionin stated.

On May 16 during the insertion of mexSat-1 satellite there was an off-nominal situation in the course of Proton-M third stage operation. The attempt to orbit Mexican satellite ended up a failure, the satellite was lost.

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