BAIKONUR, Kazakhstan --- Following is a press release from Roscosmos: From launch pad number 81 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome on July 13, 2019 at 15:31 Moscow time, the Proton successfully launched the Spektr-RG astrophysical observatory with a DM-03 upper stage. This was the second launch of a Proton launch vehicle in 2019.
In accordance with the cyclogram of the flight, the spacecraft was separated from the upper stage DM-03 at 17:31 Moscow time. The orbital observatory will begin its 100-day flight to the vicinity of the L2 libration point of the Sun-Earth system, where it will explore Universe in the X-ray range of electromagnetic radiation.
During the flight, the following operations are planned: inspection of service systems, alignment, calibration and testing of telescopes, and pilot astrophysical observations. Research is planned for 6.5 years, of which 4 years is in the mode of scanning the starry sky, and 2.5 years in the mode of spot observation of objects in the Universe.
The heavy-class booster carrier Proton was developed and mass-produced by the Khrunichev State Space Research and Production Center JSC. Taking into account the launch of the Spektr-RG observatory, since the start of operation of the Proton launch vehicle (1965), 419 of its launches have been carried out in different configurations using various booster blocks. Of these, 106 launches used its upgraded version, the Proton-M.