sesThe telecommunications satellite Astra 2G, manufactured by Airbus Defence and Space (a division of the European Group Airbus Group) commissioned by the satellite operator SES of Luxembourg, was delivered from Toulouse, France to the Baikonur Cosmodrome in preparation for launch.The Antonov cargo jet with the spacecraft and ground support equipment (IEE) landed at the Yublieiny airfied this morning.

The six ton geostationary satellite Astra 2G will be placed into orbit by the Proton Breeze M launch vehicle for launch towards the end of November.
This will be the 400th launch of the Proton rocket since its maiden flight in 1965.

A few hours later, after the customs inspection and unloading at the destination airport, the container with the spacecraft and IEE were loaded on the railcar for transport to the assembly and testing facility in area 92A-50 at the launch site. The tests that will be conducted include a series of electrical and functional inspections, and refueling of unit propellants.

International Launch Services (ILS) holds the exclusive rights to market the Proton rocket for commercial operators worldwide. Khrunichev manufactures the Proton rocket and is the majority owner of ILS.

After an emergency aircraft landing made in the early hours of October 28th, the giant Antonov-124 cargo plane took off from the Ulyanovsk airstrip later in the day having fixed the errant engine. The aircraft was carrying Astra 2G for SES of Luxembourg, scheduled for launch later next month.

Taisia Nikitenko, a PR spokesperson for the plane’s owner Volga-Dneiper Group, said that the aircraft’s pilot had noticed an increase in an engine’s temperature, and so the engine was switched off. After landing “safely” the aircraft underwent maintenance and “several parts” replaced prior to continuing its journey to Kazakhstan.

Volga-Dneiper stressed that the satellite remained safely in its air-conditioned transportation container and the November launch is unlikely to be postponed.

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By Expat