[Satnews] International Launch Services (ILS) has successfully launched the TURKSAT 4B satellite into orbit via an ILS Proton vehicle.
The satellite was built by Mitsubishi Electric Corporation for Turksat Satellite Communication, Cable TV and Operation Inc. Co. (Turksat A.S.), one of the world’s leading operators in the satellite communication business. This was the 2nd Proton launch for both the satellite operator and the manufacturer; it was also the 6th Proton launch of the year.
The ILS Proton Breeze M vehicle launched from Pad 39 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome at 02:40, local time, on October 16 at 16:40 ET. The first three stages of the Proton used a standard ascent profile to place the orbital unit (Breeze M upper stage and the TURKSAT 4B 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. Separation of the TURKSAT 4B satellite occurred approximately 9 hours and 13 minutes after liftoff.
TURKSAT 4B will provide telecommunication and direct TV broadcasting services over a wide geographic region between west of China and east of England, spanning Turkey, as well as Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa. TURKSAT 4B is a multi-band satellite with an expected on-orbit maneuver lifespan of 30 years. The satellite will provide high flexibility of switchability and connectivity among different service areas to its customers.
The satellite weighed more than 4.9 metric tons at liftoff and is the ninth satellite built on Mitsubishi Electric’s DS2000 platform, a fully proven modular platform with the flexibility to handle a broad range of payload applications. The launch was carried out under a turnkey contract awarded by Turksat Satellite Communication, Cable TV and Operation Inc. Co. (Turksat A.S.) in 2011.
This was the 91st ILS Proton Launch and the 407th launch for Proton overall since its maiden flight in 1965. The Proton Breeze M vehicle is developed and built by Khrunichev Research and Production Space Center of Moscow, one of the mainstays of the space industry and majority shareholder in ILS. This was the ninth launch of a satellite based on Mitsubishi Electric’s DS2000 satellite platform. All DS2000 satellites in orbit, including the TURKSAT-4A launched last year, continue to operate stably. Mitsubishi Electric plans to launch seven more DS2000 satellites by 2017.
ILS President Kirk Pysher said, “This is the second ILS Proton launch for Mitsubishi Electric and Turksat, following the launch of TURKSAT 4A in February of last year. It has been an honor to be entrusted with these important satellites and to ensure their safe delivery to orbit. The teams at Mitsubishi Electric, Turksat, Khrunichev, and ILS are to be commended for their tireless work and dedication.”
Professor Dr. Ensar Gul, Turksat A.S. CEO and Chairman of the Board, said, “The TURKSAT 4B satellite will enhance our direct TV broadcasting services over a wide geographic region including Turkey, Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa. This additional satellite capacity from TURKSAT 4B, enabled by ILS Proton, is a significant milestone achievement. We are grateful for all of those who worked diligently to ensure mission success.”
Mitsubishi Electric General Manager of Space Systems Division, Yasunori Kamochi, said, “Our first Proton launch with ILS last year was flawless; we are very pleased that our second launch with TURKSAT 4B was equally as successful with an extremely smooth mission and execution of the launch.”