International Launch Services (ILS) launched their Proton-M rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Tuesday at 19:36 GMT. The Proton’s Briz-M (Breeze-M) Upper Stage the completed a multi-hour mission to deploy Canada’s Anik G1 telecommunications satellite into its desired transfer orbit.
Proton M Launch:
The Proton booster that was used to launch the satellite was 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 Proton vehicle has a heritage of nearly 400 launches since 1965 and is built by Khrunichev Research and State Production Center, one of the pillars of the global space industry and the majority owner of ILS.
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 a 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 Briz-M (Breeze-M) upper stage is the Phase III variant, a recent upgrade which utilizes two new high-pressure tanks (80 liters) to replace six smaller tanks, along with the relocation of command instruments towards the centre – in order to mitigate shock loads when the additional propellant tank is being jettisoned.
The Proton M launch vehicle was utilizing a 5-burn Breeze M mission design. The first three stages of the Proton used a standard ascent profile to place the orbital unit (Breeze M upper stage and the Anik G1 satellite) into a sub-orbital trajectory.
From this point in the mission, the Breeze M performed 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 geostationary transfer orbit.
A recent ILS mission with the Briz-M suffered a failure during the third burn with the Yamal 402 satellite. However, it performed without issue during the previous ILS mission, which successfully deployed the Satmex 8 satellite into orbit.
Separation of the Anik G1 satellite was scheduled to occur approximately 9 hours, 13 minutes after liftoff, with ILS later confirming the mission – which had a target orbit at separation of 9,138 km perigee, 35,786 km apogee, at an inclination of 13.4 degrees – was successful.
Anik G1 is a commercial communications satellite built by SSL for Telesat. The multi-mission, 55 transponder satellite will be located at 107.3 degrees West longitude.
This satellite will double C- and Ku-band capacity over South America from this orbital location, provide additional DTH services in extended Ku-Band and provide military X-band coverage of the Americas and substantial portions of the Pacific Ocean.
In total, the 4,905 kg satellite sports 24 C-band transponders, 28 Ku-band transponders and 3 X-band transponders. The bird, based on the SSL 1300 platform, has an anticipated service life of 15 years.
This was the second ILS Proton launch in 2013, the 79th ILS Proton launch Overall. It was also the ninth Telesat satellite launched on ILS Proton and the 26th SSL satellite launched on ILS Proton.