BAIKONUR COSMODROME, Kazakhstan, Dec. 25, 2002 — A Proton K launch vehicle was successfully launched today with three satellites for the Russian government's Glonass constellation. The Proton vehicle and Block DM upper stage performed normally and the separation of the spacecraft was successful.

This was the eighth Proton mission for the year, with four for the Russian government and four thus far for International Launch Services. The final Proton launch, of the Proton M version, is scheduled for Dec. 30 for ILS with the Nimiq-2 satellite.

The Proton was developed by the Khrunichev Space Center more than 30 years ago. Now it is one of the most reliable launch vehicles in the international market of launch services.


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