Russia’s Proton Rocket 328th Flight
A Khrunichev –made Proton K launch vehicle, carrying three satellites of the Russian government’s GLONASS constellation, was launched today from Baikonur at 11:35 Moscow time (MT) today, on October 26, from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan. The launch marks the 328th Proton mission.
The launch was carried out by Russian Space Forces launch crew. The Proton rocket performed normally. The separation of the CLONASS trio spacecrafts from DM upper stage ( made by Russia’s RSC Energia) is expected at 15:07 Moscow Time.
The launch was conducted under the Russian Federation “Global Navigation System Program”- CLONASS.
GLONASS is a dual –purpose global navigation system designed to serve the Russian Ministry of Defense and civil users.
The system is intended to provide continues navigation coverage allowing unlimited number of domestic and foreign users at sea, in the air, and land to determine precise coordinates, velocity and time.
The Proton heavy class launch vehicle is manufactured by Khrunichev Space Center. The launcher has high power capacity and remarkable operational capabilities. Proton is currently used for implementation of national programs and commercial launches of satellites for customers worldwide.
In 2007 year the Proton K vehicle will continue to carry out missions under CLONASS program. The next Proton launch with GLONASS spacecrafts is scheduled for the third quarter of this year.