International Launch Services (ILS) have launched their Proton M launch vehicle from Pad 39 (Area 200) at Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, carrying the Nimiq 4 satellite for Canada. Lift-off was recorded at 5:48 pm EDT.
NASASpaceflight.com is covering the launch as a live event, with background, live updates, images and a free launch video all available on the links below (read more).
**Proton-M/Nimiq 4Â – Live Update Pages**
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Proton-M/Nimiq 4 Overview:
The first three stages of the Proton will use a standard ascent trajectory to place the Breeze-M fourth stage and the Nimiq 4 satellite into a suborbital trajectory from which the Breeze M Upper Stage will then place itself and the spacecraft into a low Earth circular parking orbit.
Once Nimiq 4 is in the parking orbit, it will be injected into a geosynchronous transfer orbit following four additional burns of the Breeze M.
The Proton booster is 4.1 m (13.5 ft) in diameter along its second and third stages, with a first stage diameter of 7.3 m (24.0 ft). Overall height of the three stages of the Proton booster is 42.3 m (138.8 ft).
The first stage consists of a central tank containing the oxidizer surrounded by six outboard fuel tanks. Each fuel tank also carries one of the six RD-275 engines that provide first stage power. Total first stage sea-level thrust is approximately 9.6 MN (2,158,000 lbf) with a vacuum-rated level thrust of 10.5 MN (2,360,000 lbf).
The second stage is powered by three RD-0210 engines plus one RD-0211 engine and develops a vacuum thrust of 2.3 MN (517,000 lbf).
The third stage is powered by one RD-0213 engine, this stage develops thrust of 583 kN (131,000 lbf), and a four-nozzle vernier engine that produces thrust of 31 kN (7,000 lbf).
The Breeze M is powered by one pump fed gimbaled main engine that develops thrust of 19.6 kN (4,400 lbf). The Breeze-M is composed of a central core and a jettisonable additional propellant tank. Inert mass of the stage at lift-off is approximately 2,370 kg (5,225 lb).
The quantity of propellant carried is dependent on specific mission requirements and is varied to maximize mission performance. The Breeze M is controlled by a closed loop, triple-redundant guidance system.
Nimiq 4 has two payloads for Canadian broadcast services. The main payload will provide specialty television and foreign language programming.
The second payload has six beams covering Canada for such advanced services as high-definition television. Nimiq satellites are dedicated to the provision of direct-to-home services for Bell TV.
Nimiq 4 is a commercial communications satellite built by EADS Astrium. The main payload has 32 Ku-band channels providing specialty television and foreign language programming. The satellite will be located at 82 degrees West longitude.
Nimiq 4 is based on the Eurostar-3000S version of the highly successful Eurostar communications satellite. It will have a launch mass of 4.8 tonnes, a solar array span of 39 meters once deployed in orbit, and spacecraft power of 12 kW at end of life.
The double-floor E3000 model is equipped with an all-chemical propulsion system and Lithium-Ion batteries. The satellite, operating in geostationary orbit, will provide commercial services for a minimum of 15 years.
Re-live the launch updates on the live event pages, linked above.