Proton M/Breeze M launches with MEASAT-3

by Chris Bergin

A Russian Proton M launch vehicle and Breeze M upper stage has launched with the MEASAT-3 communication satellite – heading for a geostationary orbit, from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan at 23:28 UTC.

The total flight time to orbit took over nine hours. A free video of the launch is available on the link below (read more).

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The Proton launch vehicle – which was erected in a snowstorm – will inject the satellite into geosynchronous transfer orbit, using a five-burn Breeze M mission design.

The first three stages of the Proton will use a standard ascent trajectory to place the Breeze M fourth stage, with the satellite, into a suborbital trajectory, from which the Breeze M will place itself and the spacecraft into a circular parking orbit of 173 km (107.5 miles), inclined at 51.5 degrees.

Then the satellite will be propelled to its transfer orbit by additional burns of the Breeze M. Following separation from the Breeze M, the spacecraft will perform a series of liquid apogee engine burns to raise perigee, lower inclination and circularize the orbit at the geostationary altitude of 35,786 km (22,236 miles).

 “This is the first satellite to be launched for MEASAT in a decade, and we’re pleased that ILS and Proton have played a part in this important event,” said ILS President Frank McKenna.

“We’re proud of the accuracy with which Proton delivered the satellite to orbit. Today’s successful performance validates MEASAT’s confidence in our vehicle, and we hope to convert this confidence into additional opportunities to work with MEASAT.”

“We are very pleased with the successful launch of MEASAT-3,” said Paul Brown-Kenyon, chief operating officer of MEASAT.

“The satellite, which is central to the expansion of our DTH and broadcast distribution business, is expected to begin operations by 1 February 2007. We extend our heartfelt thanks to ILS, and their Russian partners, for a professionally executed launch campaign.”

The Boeing built MEASAT-3 will provide high-powered C-band coverage over more than 100 countries comprising more than 70 percent of the world’s population, and DTH-quality Ku-band coverage to over 160 million TV households in Malaysia, Indonesia and South Asia.

It comprises of 24 C-band transponders and 24 Ku-band transponders. It will be located at 91.5 degrees East longitude, for a contractual service life of 15 years.

The body-stabilized Boeing 601 satellite is the best-selling large spacecraft model in the world. Eighty-one orders for the spacecraft had been received by September 2003.

The Boeing 601 was introduced in 1987 to meet anticipated requirements for high-power, multiple-payload satellites for such applications as direct television broadcasting to small receiving antennas, very small aperture terminals for private business networks, and mobile communications. The basic configuration features as many as 48 transponders and offers up to 4,800 watts.

A more powerful version, the Boeing 601HP, made its debut in 1995. The HP versions can carry payloads twice as powerful as the classic Boeing 601 models, through such innovations as gallium arsenide solar cells and advanced battery technology. The 601HP features as many as 60 transponders and provides up to 11,000 watts.

All Boeing 601 spacecraft use the same basic bus design, enabling Boeing Satellite Systems to realize efficiencies gained by production volume, tooling investments and quantity buys.

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