The first passage of the Spectr-RG space observatory over the territory of Russia from 21:18 to 02:40 MSK was observed by the head of the Kuban State University Observatory (KubSU) Alexander Ivanov with a 254 mm / 1200 mm Maksutov–Cassegrain telescope installed at the KubSU observatory. The video shows the passage of the upper stage DM-03 and the Spektr-RG observatory, moving along the constellation Vulpecula, a densely populated part of the Milky Way:
Averaged image of the DM-03 upper stage and Spectr-RG on July 13, 2019 from 21:18 to 02:40 MSK:
The Proton-M launch vehicle together with the Spektr-RG astrophysics space observatory lifted off from the Baikonur cosmodrome at 12:30 UTC. All systems work normally. Solar panels and thermal shield deployment confirmed. The spacecraft is being tracked.
The state commission that oversees the launch of Proton-M carrier rocket with DM-03 booster and Spektr-RG satellite telescope decided to postpone the launch of the Spektr-RG observatory to July 13, 2019 due to issues with rocket subsystem.
Final decision about a possibility of the launch will be provided by the state commission at morning of July 13, 2019.
Roscosmos and space industry specialists perform pre-launch tests of the Proton-M vehicle with the Spectr-RG observatory at the Baikonur cosmodrome. In particular, a cycle of planned tests and additional checks of all the launch vehicle systems, the DM-03 upper stage and the observatory are carried out.
However, during the final phase of the ground tests, an issue on the launch missile was revealed, which required additional time to eliminate.
The RIA Novosti news agency reported, that the discharged KhIT battery, which had required to postpone the launch of the Spektr-RG observatory to a backup date on July 12, was replaced by specialists at the Baikonur cosmodrome.
“The chemical current source has been replaced. The re-erect of the rocket to the launch pad is planned on July 8. The launch is scheduled on July 12 at 15.31 Moscow time,” said the agency source.