International Launch Services (ILS) have launched the AsiaSat 5 telecommunications satellite via their veteran Proton-M launch vehicle and Breeze-M upper stage. Lift-off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan occurred at 23:47 Moscow time.
The Proton booster is 4.1 m (13.5 ft) in diameter along its second and third stages, with a first stage diameter of 7.4 m (24.3 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-276 engines that provide first stage power. Total first stage vacuum-rated level thrust is 11.0 MN (2,500,000 lbf).
Of conventional cylindrical design, the second stage is powered by three RD-0210 engines plus one RD-0211 engine and develops a vacuum thrust of 2.4 MN (540,000 lbf).
Powered by one RD-0213 engine, the third stage develops thrust of 583 kN (131,000 lbf), and a four-nozzle vernier engine that produces thrust of 31 kN (7,000 lbf). Guidance, navigation, and control of the Proton M during operation of the first three stages is carried out by a triple redundant closed-loop digital avionics system mounted in the Proton’s third stage.
The Proton launch vehicle, utilizing a 4-burn Breeze M mission design, launched from Pad 39. The first three stages of the Proton utilize a standard ascent profile to place the Orbital Unit (Breeze M upper stage and AsiaSat 5) into a sub-orbital trajectory.
From this point in the mission, the Breeze M will perform planned mission maneuvers to advance the Orbital Unit first to a circular parking orbit, then to an intermediate orbit, followed by a transfer orbit and finally to a geo-transfer orbit.
Frank McKenna, President of ILS noted, “This full integration and successful launch on ILS Proton of AsiaSat 5 in less than six months was a focused team effort on behalf of ILS, Khrunichev, AsiaSat and Space Systems/Loral. This is the real value that ILS/Proton offers our customers and we are proud to have met AsiaSat’s demanding business imperative for the replacement strategy of AsiaSat 2.””
“Launching AsiaSat 5 on ILS Proton was the best solution to meet our planned schedule for AsiaSat 2 replacement, to assure service continuity for all users on AsiaSat 2. We are most grateful for the diligence, professionalism and dedication demonstrated by ILS and Khrunichev to achieve on time delivery that is simply unmatched” added Peter Jackson, Chief Executive Officer of AsiaSat.
AsiaSat 5 is a new generation satellite equipped with the latest technology and new beam coverage to provide highest quality television broadcast, telephone networks and VSAT networks for broadband multimedia services across Asia Pacific.
In addition to a very powerful pan-Asian C-band footprint and the improved Ku-band East Asia beam, AsiaSat 5’s new Ku-band South Asia and in-orbit steerable beams are designed to serve new market requirements and to offer full backup capability in network coverage with AsiaSat’s existing satellites AsiaSat 3S and AsiaSat 4. AsiaSat 5 will replace AsiaSat 2 at 100.5 degrees East.
The Breeze M is powered by one pump-fed gimbaled main engine that develops thrust of 20 kN (4,500 lbf). It is composed of a central core and an auxiliary propellant tank which is jettisoned in flight following depletion.
The Breeze M control system includes an on-board computer, a three-axis gyro stabilized platform, and a navigation system. The quantity of propellant carried is dependent on specific mission requirements and is varied to maximize mission performance.