The first launch of an upgraded version of the Proton-M carrier rocket from Baikonur Cosmodrome is scheduled for the end of April, a source in the space rocket industry told Interfax-AVN on Friday.
"By now, the Proton-M has passed three stages of modernization in order to raise its energy potentials. The first launch of the Proton-M of the fourth, last stage of modernization, has been slated for April 28," the source said.
This launch is expected to put in orbit the Intelsat 31 telecommunications satellite, he said.
"The Proton-M rocket of the fourth stage of modernization, using a Briz-M upper stage, will be able to deliver a satellite of up to 6,300 kilograms to a transit orbit before the geostationary one," the source said.
The first launch of the Proton-M rocket of the first stage of modernization was in 2004, the second stage in 2007, and the third one in 2009, the source said.
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