Russian Proton rocket successfully launches commercial satellite

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The competition heats up: The Russians successfully put a European commercial communications satellite into orbit today their Proton rocket.

It was the sixth successful Proton launch since their May failure. The key quote from the article however was this:

ILS owner Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center of Moscow has said it would give ILS leeway to reduce prices to work its way back into the regular commercial-launch rotation alongside SpaceX and Europe’s Arianespace. The decline of the Russian ruble against the U.S. dollar has made that task easier as most commercial launch contracts are priced in dollars.

In other words they are going to cut prices to compete, and the falling ruble has given them more leeway to do it.

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