Post Tue Jul 19, 2011 9:47 am

How the spatial year 2010 ended-Part 2

The ILS (International Launch Services) company based in Virginia, USA, and whose main shareholder is the Russian company Krunichev Space Center, manufacturer of the Russian Proton rocket and the one who has the exclusive rights to sell the transport services to all commercial satellite operators worldwide-has made its last flight in the late December 2010.
The launch took place from Baikonur Cosmodrome on Sunday December 26th 2010 at 21:51 GMT. Separation from the carrier rocket occurred 9 hours later at 07:03 GMT when the ground stations have received the first signal of the satellite located in an intermediary orbit (35888 km x 3712 km x 24.6 degrees).
The satellite will correct its orbit with the help of onboard engines i.e. to reduce the orbital plane inclination and increase the height of the perigee until obtaining a circular trajectory. Then will be placed at 9 degrees East orbital slot and will be subject to further testing until May 2011 (when is expected to enter the effective operation).
This was the 12th launch of a Proton rocket in 2010 and 64th use by ILS. Previous commercial releases have been made on October 14 and November 14 with the XM 5 and SkyTerra 1 satellites. The launch was postponed by one week to expect the first results of the official investigation after the December 5th accident when a military version of the Proton rocket used by the Russian space agency Roscosmos failed to send into orbit a payload consisting of three Glonass satellites.
The Proton rocket which came in operation under UR500 indicative made its debut in a flight on 16 July 1965. Since then, it has managed to carry over 360 flights with most complex scenarios: was used to launch Russian interplanetary missions to the Moon, Mars, Venus and Comet Halley, transported cargos for the Mir stations and now for the ISS and finally transported military and commercial satellites intro orbit.
The Proton rocket is 58.2 meters long and weights 705 tons in normal configuration. It is equipped with three engines and a system of boosters, with a length of 42.3 m and a diameter ranging between 4.1 and 7.4 m. Also there is the additional Breeze M system which develops an additional force of 20 kN and is equipped with a three axes stabilization system, a navigation system and an onboard computer that is responsabile for the quality of orbital injection. In this case, the amount of loaded fuel depends on the mission and is variable to optimize the flight performance. The first stage of the rocket is powered by 6 RD 276 type engines that provide a total of 11 MN. The second stage is powered by three RD 210 engines, plus a type RD 211 engine providing a total force of 2.4 MN. The third stage is powered by a type RD 213 with 583 kN traction. The flight control is made with triple redundant avionics system which commands a 31 kN motor with four nozzles. In this configuration, the rocket is capable of carying a mass of up to 6360 kg in a geostationary transfer orbit.
KA-SAT is the first Eutelsat satellite exclusively equipped with Ka-band transponders (a total of 82) and will join the HotBird satellite fleet which operates in the Ku band serving the European, North African and Middle East areas. It is the 17th satellite built by EADS Astrium for the Eutelsat operator, as part of an agreement signed in January 2008. Built on a Eurostar 3000 platform, the 6150 kg satellite has a life expectancy of 15 years. It's equipped with two solar panels that generate a minimum of 15 kW, enough for the usage of the transporders (11 kW) and is able to handle a 70 Gbits/s bidirectional traffic- 35 times more than standard Ku satellites and 5 times more than any other satellites in the Ka band. It is estimated that this capability will soon allow to drop the satellite internet prices to values comparable to those of terrestrial operators.
The previous launch of an Eutelsat satellite was on October 28th 2010 when an Ariane 5 rocket put into orbit the W3B platform.
The next commercial release of ILS will be made sometime in 2011 when the satellites Luch 5A and Amos 5 will be on board.