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Russia's Proton Loses Another Satellite

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Khrunichev and International Launch Services (ILS) say an anomaly that occurred during the launch of the Yamal 402 satellite Dec. 9 has left the spacecraft in the wrong orbit.

The satellite, built by Thales Alenia Space, was launched atop a Proton Breeze M rocket at 7:13 pm local time from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Preliminary flight information indicates the fourth and final burn of the Breeze M engine ended about four minutes early, subsequently separating the spacecraft.

Thales is recalculating the LEOP parameters in order to propose the possible recovery plans to Russia's Gazprom Space Systems. A Russian state commission will begin the process of determining the reasons for the anomaly. In parallel ILS will form its own failure review oversight board.

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