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Proton Kicks Off 2018 with Russian Satellite Launch

By | April 19, 2018
Proton Launch April 2018

Khrunichev Space Center announces the successful Proton Breeze M launch for the Russian Federal program. Lift-off occurred on April 19, 2018, at 01:12 Moscow Time (18:12 ET on 4-18) from Pad 24 at Baikonur Cosmodrome. This was the first Proton launch of the year. Photo: ILS

Intenational Launch Services (ILS) announced the successful launch of a Russian military payload into orbit the Baikonur Cosmodrome. This was the first launch for the Proton launch vehicle in 2018. The payload, Blagovest 12L, is the second of four planned Blagovest communications satellites for Russia’s Ministry of Defense, built by ISS Reshetnev.

The first of the four satellites was launched last August, according to Russian news agency TASS. Blagovest 12L was supposed to launch last December but was delayed due to “problems with one of the satellite’s devices.” Russia’s Defense Ministry is planning to have the four satellites in orbit by 2020.

According to TASS, the newly launched satellite, Blagovest 12L, carries Ka- and Ku-band transponders to provide high-speed broadband, telephony and video services.