Proton launches from Baikonur limited to 12 flights for 2013

by | Jan 23, 2013 | Russia | 0 comments

The Voice of Russia radio station and website has reported that authorities in Kazakhstan plan to limit the number of Proton launches from the Baikonur launch site (near Tyuratam) in Kazakhstan to just 12 launch attempts.  While this is more than the 11 Proton flight attempts managed during 2012, this lower than expected number was because the Proton schedule was slowed by flight suspensions after upper stage failures in August and December.

The decision to limit the maximum number of Proton launches to 12 when 17 were planned is reported to be officially due to concerns over the Proton launch vehicle’s toxic propellants.  Nevertheless, it is thought that Russian plans for a new launch site called Vostochny, located inside Russia, is the principal political motivator for this move as this new site is expected to take over Baikonur’s role as Russia’s main launch base. 

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