International Launch Services Proton-M rocket begun its mission to deliver to orbit communications satellite for Asia based operator.
Proton-M almost performed perfect delivery of weighing 6141 kg communications satellite belonging to Asia Satellite Telecommunications Company. Manufactured by Space Systems/Loral (SS/L) spacecraft bases on SSL-1300 satellite bus will cover with range of its 28 C band transponders, 32 Ku band transponders and additional Ka band payload regions previously covered by Asiasat-4 ( Persian Gulf, China, Siberia, Japan, Australia and New Zealand). Also services will reach new customers in Mongolia and Indonesia. It will be deployed on orbit within following hours and will reach its designated orbital slot before end of 2017.
Today’s mission objective was to deliver Asiasat-9 to GTO orbit with Breeze-M upper stage in five burns within lasting 9h13″ flight. It is planned to deploy satellite on elliptical orbit inclined at 23.4 Deg with apogee at 35786 km and perigee at 4045 km. After deployment of solar arrays and first self tests satellite should begun its journey to 122°E GEO orbital slot and replace Asiasat-4. Mission of the satellite is planned for 15 years.
Launch preparations begun with delivering payload from SS/L facility at Palo Alto, California to Baikonur Cosmodrome on August 29, 2017. After tests and integration with Breeze-M, satellite with upper stage, they were covered with fairing on the top of the Proton-M. Rocket was rolled out to Launch Pad 39 on September 25.
Today at 17:24 UTC after receiving final approval from launch director ILS ground service teams begun refueling of the rocket. Twenty minutes launch pad gantry was moved away. Rocket was ready to launch and after finishing fueling process at T-15′ last personell was evacuated from the pad. Rocket ignited its six RD-276 engines at T-2.5″ and lifted off at 18:53 UTC. After 70 seconds rocket already passed 1 Ma speed and moment of highest dynamic pressure. At T+2’45” rocket cut off first six engine stage and fired second stage equipped with RD-0210 and RD-0211 main engines. After another three minutes at T+6’30” second stage was jettisoned and third stage fired its RD-0213 engine. After 4’30” it put rocket in a circular parking orbit (167 km – 178 km). At T+11′ Breeze-M upper stage was released. First burn from five was finished at 19:06 UTC and Breeze-M managed to report telemetry data. According ILS upper stage behaves nominally and should deploy satellite at T+9h13″ after another four burns planned for: T+1h07″ (actually this one was already finished with success), T+3h27′ (planned to last for 11’33”), T+3h41″ (planned for 06’03”) and T+08h52″ (06’14”). Satellite will confirm its good condition after deployment few minutes after releasing and then ILS will officially confirm that mission finished with success.