ILS, operator of Proton-M rocket was forced to postpone delivering Echostar-21 communication satellite with Proton-M rocket. Launch originally planned for 28 December 2016, still remains without final date.
It is possible, that we will see Proton-M climbing over Baikonur Cosmodrome on January – but still we do not know exactly when. Manufacturer of the rocket – Khrunichev Space Center still performs additional tests of systems of the rocket and whole acceleration unit. It was necessary after state commission decided, that launch should be postponed due the technical reasons.
Satellite still remains encapsulated under fairing and is in good condition. Spacecraft was planned to extend constellation of Echostar satellites improve quality of services offered in Europe; it will provide mobile voice and data communications utilizing S-band transponders with 2 GHz frequency. Satellite was built by Space Systems/Loral (SSL) on SSL-1300S bus with estimated operational life of 15 years. Satellite weight is 6910 kg.
Last time Proton-M rocket was launched In 2016 on June with Intelsat-31 communication satellite under the payload fairing.
During this mission Proton-M will be combined with Briz-M upper stage.Rocket liquid fueled with N2O4/UDMH. Weight of the rocket is 712800 kg with height at 58 m and diameter at 7.4 m in the first stage, which is powered by six RD-253-14D14 (providing up to 10532 kN of thrust). Second stage (with height at 14 m and with diameter at 4.1 m) is powered with three RD-0210 and one RD-0211 engines providing thrust at 2399 kN. Third stage (with height at 6.5 m) is equipped with one RD-0212 with thrust at 613.8 kN. Briz-M is powered by one S5.98M with thrust at 19.6 kN.