The Khrunichev Center (a part of Roscosmos) prepared the Proton-M launch vehicle for shipment to the Baikonur Cosmodrome. The rocket is to launch the Russian-European automatic interplanetary station ExoMars 2022 to Mars.
“The Proton-M rocket has been manufactured and passed the full cycle of preparation at the Moscow site of the Khrunichev Center. It is being shipped to the launch site,” said Alexey Varochko, Krunichev Center Director General.
According to him, the Briz-M upper stage and the fairing for the ExoMars 2022 mission will be sent to Baikonur together with the rocket in early March.
The launch of unmanned interplanetary station ExoMars 2022 to Mars is scheduled for the launch window of September 20 to October 1, 2022. The station was created under a joint project between Roscosmos and the European Space Agency. The station consists of the European flight module, the Russian landing module with the landing platform Kazachok and the European rover Rosalind Franklin. Kazachok and Rosalind Franklin are expected to land on the Red Planet in June 2023.