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Russia Places Proton Medium Development on Indefinite Hold

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
September 4, 2018
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Proton variants (Credit: ILS)

SpaceNews reports that Russia has placed development of its Proton Medium rocket on indefinite hold. The booster was a lighter version of the Proton launch vehicle designed to compete directly with SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket.

In a statement to SpaceNews, [International Launch Services] said customers who have already contracted for a Proton Medium launch will be switched to the more powerful Proton Breeze M for no additional charge. ILS declined to say how many Proton Medium missions it has under contract. To date, only Paris-based satellite fleet operator Eutelsat has publicly announced booking a Proton Medium. Eutelsat made its Proton Medium reservation for an unnamed satellite as part of 2016 multi-launch agreement with ILS.

Khrunichev State Research and Production Center, the Moscow-based rocket builder that owns ILS, put Proton Medium development on hold as Russia weighs a speedier transition to the Angara family of rockets meant to replace Proton….

ILS, in its statement to SpaceNews, confirmed that Proton Medium development “has been placed on an indefinite hold” as Roscosmos conducts “an extensive review and analysis of the Russian space sector including the Proton and Angara launch systems.”


4 responses to “Russia Places Proton Medium Development on Indefinite Hold”

  1. Mr Snarky Answer says:

    Well they are just wrapping up Angara. The blows just keep coming for the Russian space industry.

  2. Pete Zaitcev says:

    The lease on Pad 81 & 200 is up in 2024. That is the hard end of the line for Proton. In addition, I saw an interview with the head of Energomash, Igor Arbuzov, where he said that he’s shutting down the production of engines for Proton. Once the engine line ends, it’s curtains for the rocket, even if the airframe can be made, or the pads are available.

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