The last ILS mission of 2008 has launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, as their Proton-M launch vehicle prepares lifted-off from Pad PU-39 of Launch Complex 200. Launch occured on time at 13:43 UTC. The launch phase of the mission will last a total of nine hours, injecting the Ciel-2 communications satellite in to a geostationary transfer orbit.
The 8K82KM Proton-M will use a standard ascent trajectory to place the Breeze M fourth stage and the Ciel-2 satellite into a suborbital trajectory. From there the Breeze M will place itself and the spacecraft into a circular parking orbit.
From this orbit the Breeze M will make four more burns and the satellite will be injected into a geostationary transfer orbit. Target orbit at separation, that is schedule to occur at approximately L+9 hours, 12 minutes, is apogee 35,603 km (22,123 miles), perigee 5,597 km (3,478 miles) and inclination 19.5 degrees.
The Ciel-2 satellite is based on the Thales Alenia Space Spacebus 4000 C4 and has a separated spacecraft mass of approximately 5,561 kg (12,260 lbs). The satellite will be used to provide Advanced Broadcast Satellite Service satellite delivering high-definition and other TV services throughout North America.
Anchor customer is DISH Network Corp. From its orbital position at 129 degrees West longitude, the high-powered Ku-band spacecraft will deliver a variety of communications services throughout Canada and the larger North American market.
Built by the Khrunichev State Research and Production Center, 8K82KM Proton-M is the largest Russian launch vehicle in operational service. The rocket launches all Russian geostationary and interplanetary missions under Khrunichev, establishing it as the principal workhorse of the Russian space program.
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.
This was the sixth ILS mission of the year, the 15th ILS Proton launch for SES AMERICON, 3rd Spacebus 4000 model to launch on Proton and the 49th ILS mission on Proton.