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2005 Feb. 3: Russia successfully conducted its first commercial launch of 2005, the 7th mission of the Proton-M vehicle and the 312th launch of the Proton series. The launch vehicle with a Briz-M upper stage blasted off from Pad 24 at Site 81 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome at 05:27 Moscow Time on Feb. 3, 2005, carrying the AMC-12 communications satellite for SES AMERICOM. After about 9 hours and 19 minutes of flight, and five burns of the Briz-M upper stage the satellite separated in the planned orbit.
AMC-12 is expected to go into service in April, providing communications for the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Africa from a position 37.5 degrees West longitude over the Equator. The satellite, at one point designated Worldsat-2, was built by Alcatel Space of France. It was first scheduled for launch in the first quarter of 2004, November 2004 and then on Dec. 10, 2004. Delivery to the launch site had been expected on Nov. 1, 2004, but did not take place until Dec. 30, 2004.
2005 March 30: In its second mission since the beginning of the year, a Proton rocket successfully launched a Russian communications satellite. A Proton-K, equipped with a Block DM upper stage, blasted off from Baikonur Cosmodrome at 01:31 Moscow Time, carrying the Ekspress-AM2 spacecraft for the Russian Satellite Communications Organization, RSCS.
According to Russian officials, the satellite separated from the upper stage of the launch vehicle at 08:05 Moscow Time on the day of the launch. The spacecraft, built by NPO PM in Zheleznogorsk with the participation of Alcatel Space of France, is expected to operate in a geostationary orbit at 80 degrees West over the Equator for the next 12 years. The launch of the Ekspress-AM2 spacecraft had been earlier planned for December 2004, however it was reportedly delayed by the lack of funding for the manufacturing of the launch vehicle.
2005 May 22: A Russian Proton rocket with a Briz-M upper stage placed the DIRECTV 8 satellite into orbit. The launch vehicle lifted off from Pad 39 in Baikonur at 23:59 local time (17:59 GMT), after a 24-hour delay caused by technical problems. The satellite separated from the upper stage into an elliptical geosynchronous transfer orbit nine hours and 15 minutes after launch. Controllers confirmed that DIRECTV 8 has been functioning properly.
The satellite was scheduled to enter a circular geosynchronous orbit above the equator ten days after launch. The 3,711-kilogram DIRECTV 8 satellite, is based on a standard platform designated 1300 and developed by Space Systems/Loral. It is slated for an orbital position at 101 degrees West longitude. The satellite is similar to DIRECTV 5, carrying both Ku-band and Ka-band transponders. The agreement for the launch of the DIRECTV 8 onboard the Proton rocket was announced on July 13, 2004. In preparation for launch, the rocket with its payload was rolled to the launch pad on May 18, 2005.
2005 June 24: The modernization of Russia's satellite communications network received a new bird in June 2005. A Proton-K (No. 410-07) equipped with a Block D (11S861 No. 103L) upper stage and carrying the Ekspress-AM3 comsat for the Russian Satellite Communications Organization, RSCS, blasted off from Baikonur Cosmodrome's Site 200 on June 24, 2005 at 23:41 Moscow Time. The launch of the Express-AM3 spacecraft completed the modernization of the country's communications network. It was the fifth and last satellite of this type launched in the past two years. The mission was originally scheduled for June 23, 2005. The next generation of spacecraft was expected to reach launch pad in 2007.
2005 Sept. 9: In the midst of a busy launch season in Baikonur, a Proton rocket delivered a commercial payload into orbit -- the third liftoff from the site in nearly two weeks. The Proton M rocket (No. 53512) with a Briz-M upper stage (No. 88513) lifted off from Pad 39 at Site 200 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome on Sept. 9, 2005 at 03:53 local time (5:53 p.m. EDT or 21:53 GMT on Sept. 8, 2005). The rocket carried Anik F1R, based on the E3000 platform developed by an EADS Astrium of Europe. Upon separation from the third stage of the Proton, The Briz-M then fired its on-board engine five times over the next nine hours to place the satellite into a geosynchronous transfer orbit. The p[ayload was expected to maneuver over the next few weeks into its final orbit 36,000 km above the equator.
From its operating position at 107.3 degrees West longitude, Anik F1R was expected to deliver broadcasting, communications and air navigation services in Canada and the United States, on behalf of Telesat. The mission was delayed from June and Aug. 10, 2005.
2005 Dec. 25: A trio of Russian navigation satellites successfully reached orbit after launch from Kazakhstan. A Proton-K rocket with a Block DM upper stage blasted off from Site 81 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome at 08:07 Moscow Time, carrying a trio of spacecraft for Russia's global positioning system, GLONASS. The payload included a regular Uragan spacecraft and a pair of upgraded Uragan-M satellites. The launch brought the number of active Uragan satellites to 17. A fully functional GLONASS network is designed to have 24 spacecraft.
2005 Dec. 29: A Proton-M rocket, carrying the AMC-23 communications satellite (formerly Worldsat-3) blasted off from Pad 23 at Site-200 in Baikonur at 05:28 Moscow Time. The payload was scheduled to separate from the Briz-M upper stage at 14:48 Moscow Time on the same day after five firings of the upper stage. The contract for the launch was announced in March 2004 and at the time, it was scheduled for November 2005. The launch vehicle arrived to Baikonur on October 25, 2005. The launch was first postponed from Dec. 1, 2005. The mission was delayed again from Dec. 6, 2005, by avionics problems in the Briz-M upper stage, after the vehicle was rolled out to Site-200 on Dec. 3, 2005.
The launch of the Astra-1KR, originally scheduled onboard a Proton in September 2005 and then on Oct. 20, 2005, was later transferred to an Atlas rocket, which successfully launched it in April 2006.
Page author: Anatoly Zak; Last update: February 9, 2011
Page editor: Alain Chabot; Last edit: February 9, 2011
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