[SatNews] Lifting off from Baikonur at 01:05 am Moscow Time on Thursday, March 19, the Proton-M integrated launch vehicle (ILV) successfully orbited the Airbus DS–built Express AM-7 telecommunications satellite for Russian Satellite Communications Company (RSCC), under the Russian Federal Program, “Development of TV and Radio Broadcasting in the Russian Federation for 2009–2015”. This second launch of 2015 is the 403rd in Proton’s history.
In the course of a nominal launch, the orbital unit (the spacecraft and Breeze-M upper stage) separated from the launch vehicle at the designated time, and continued its mission. Subsequently, the spacecraft injection to the target orbit was performed based on burns of the Breeze-M upper stage main engine.
As per the mission plan, the spacecraft/upper stage separation took place 9 hours and 13 minutes after liftoff—at 10:18 am (MSK) on March 19. The separated spacecraft mass was approximately 5700 kg.
As of now, the control of Express AM-7 has been passed over to the customer. Express-AM7 is intended to provide TV and radio broadcast, broadband access and multimedia, data, telephony, and mobile communications throughout Russia, Europe and India.
Proton was designed and is mass manufactured by the Khrunichev Space Center. The heavy-lift Proton is the mainstay of Russia’s space transport, used for inserting government and commercial payloads to low-earth and escape orbits. Proton is marked for its design, and excellent energy and performance characteristics. Proton is reputed to be one of the world’s most proven heavy-lift launchers. A modernized Proton-M using Breeze-M as the upper stage is capable of delivering 6MT+ payloads to geo-stationary orbits.
Khrunichev State Research & Production Space Center (the “Khrunichev Space Center”, or “Khrunichev”), a key enterprise of Russia’s space industry, belongs to the group of the world’s leading designers and manufacturers of rocket and space hardware. Under the Federal Space Program guidelines, Khrunichev designs, and manufactures, and operates such space transport systems as Proton, Rockot, and Angara.
Over the past nearly 20 years, Khrunichev has been a player in the international market of launch services. The Khrunichev Space Center makes a significant contribution to the buildup and operation of the International Space Station, and participates in national space programs of a number of countries. Amongst Khrunichev’s customers and partners are national space agencies, organizations and industrial enterprises from all over the world. Read more at http://www.khrunichev.ru/.