After Proton Anomaly, Inmarsat Postpones Launch

The launch anomaly involving the SES AMERICOM satellite during the weekend has led another satellite company to suspend its plans for utilizing the Russian-built Proton launch vehicle.

Late Friday, a Proton Breeze M rocket failed to deliver the AMC-14 satellite to its proper orbit. The Proton, which has encountered launch issues in the past, is promoted by International Launch Services.

Because of the anomaly, Inmarsat said it has suspended plans to ship its Inmarsat 4 satellite to the Proton launch site in Kazakhstan. "Inmarsat expects the launch scheduled for late April to be postponed pending an investigation of the launch failure by International Launch Services and the Russian State Commission," the London-based satellite company said in a statement.

DISH Network was set to lease capacity aboard the AMC-14 satellite from SES AMERICOM for an expansion of high-def programming. During the weekend, the company said it was waiting for more information before further assessing the situation involving the spacecraft.