A Russian Proton rocket carrying a US telecom satellite Echostar-21 was successfully launched early Thursday from the Baikonur spaceport in southern Kazakhstan. This is the first dispatch of a Proton since June 2016 when it encountered an engine glitch, prompting a scrutiny that grounded the rocket for a year. The Proton-M is the largest Russian carrier rocket and has been used since 1965.
“The Proton-M was successfully launched at 6:45 am (0345 GMT/ 9:15am IST),” from the Baikonur cosmodrome in southern Kazakhstan, the Russian space agency Roscosmos said.
“All the phases went off as scheduled,” a statement said.
Roscosmos added that Echostar-21 will provide telecommunications services in Europe and is set to be put into orbit at 1258 GMT.