Proton successfully launches satellite

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The competition heats up: A Russian Proton rocket successfully placed a commercial communications satellite in orbit today, the fifth successful launch in a row since a May launch failure and the second launch in only 10 days.

For the Russians the Proton successes during the second half of 2015 are encouraging. Whether they have solved their chronic quality control problems, however, remains unknown. I remain doubtful, especially because they have eliminated competition within their industry and folded everything into a single government entity that runs it all.

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