Planned for today commercial launch of the Proton-M rocket with Intelsat-31 broadcasting satellite was delayed for 24 hours.
According to International Launch Services, operator of the Proton-M rocket, launch was postponed due the technical problems which appeared before launch planned for 07:10 GMT from Launch Pad 24 in Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan. As it was described in official statement by ILS, technical issues are not referrering to rocket or payload itself. Problem appeared with electrical ground equipment at Launch Pad 24 attached to Proton-M. Now technical specialists and engineers are forced to check every single connector which is plugged into rocket, to find which one exactly caused malfunction. Surely it will take some time, but ILS decided to postpone launch only for 24 hours. Rocket and payload, Intelsat-31 broadcasting satellite remains secured on launch pad in Baikonur cosmodrome.
Intelsat-31 is second after Intelsat-30 satellite contracted in 2011 by Intelsat S.A. to Space Systems/Loral. It will help to improve offer in Direct-to-Home services over Latin America. Intelsat-31 weighs 6450 kg and its fuselage has following dimensions: 8.6 m x 3.4 m x 3.1; after deploying solar panels spacecraft will reach span at 32.4 m. Payload is 4 C band and 72 Ku band transponders.
This mission was planned to last over 15 hours. After liftoff at 07:10 GMT Proton-M will jettison payload fairing at T+05’46”. After reaching suborbital trajectory, last stage of Proton-M will separate from Briz-M upper stage, which will start series of maneuvers; first, it will deliver Intelsat-31 to circular parking orbit. Next Briz-M will continue flight to intermediate orbit, transfer orbit to reach finally supersynchronous transfer orbit with perigee at 3503 km, apogee at 65000 km and inclination at 29.6°. Satellite will be deployed from SSTO orbit at T+15h 31′.