October 21, 2013

The launch of a Russian Proton-M rocket carrying a US telecoms satellite has been postponed for a second time on the satellite operator’s request, the Russian space agency said Monday.

The new launch is tentatively scheduled for Friday, a spokesman for the Federal Space Agency told RIA Novosti.

The Proton-M rocket was set to blast off from the Baikonur space station in Kazakhstan carrying the Sirius FM-6 satellite late Sunday, but its launch was postponed until Monday.

The delay is due to the operator’s problems with one of its communications stations, located in South Africa, a Federal Space Agency spokesman said.

The Sirius FM-6, which has a life expectancy of 15 years, will provide radio broadcasts for North American audiences.

Proton-M launches were suspended for three months following a crash in July, blamed on a manufacturing error. The unmanned rocket flew again in late September, successfully taking a French telecoms satellite into orbit.

Image credit – Roscosmos

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