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2007 April 10: A Proton rocket launched a Canadian communications satellite into geostationary orbit. A Proton with the Briz-M upper stage, carrying the Anik F3 spacecraft for Telesat of Canada, lifted off on April 10, 2007, at 02:54:00 Moscow Summer Time from Pad 39 at Site 200 in Baikonur. The first three stages of the Proton used a standard ascent trajectory to place the Breeze M fourth stage and the Anik F3 satellite into a sub-orbital trajectory, from which the Briz-M would place itself and the spacecraft into a circular reference parking orbit. Once Anik F3 reached the reference orbit, it was expected to maneuver to a transfer orbit with a series of total five burns of the Briz-M. Separation was scheduled approximately 9 hours, 11 minutes after liftoff.
Around 03:16 Moscow Time Tuesday, (7:21 p.m. EST Monday) International Launch Service, ILS, which markets the vehicle, confirmed that the first burn of the Briz-M upper stage had been successful. The next morning, the company confirmed that the satellite had successfully separated from the Briz-M on April 10, 2007 at 4:05 a.m. EDT, (08:05 GMT on April 11).
The 4,715-kilogram Anik F3 is a commercial communications satellite built by EADS Astrium for Telesat. It is based on the Eurostar 3000 standard platform and has a projected lifespan of more than 15 years. The satellite has three payloads: a 32 channel Ku-band, a 24 channel C-band, and a 2 channel Ka-band. The C-band and Ku-band payloads will carry a wide range of telecommunications, broadcasting, business communications and Internet-based services throughout North America. The small Ka-band payload will supplement services now being carried on Anik F2. Anik F3 will be located at 118.7 degrees West longitude. The satellite was to enter service in May 2007. The agreement for the launch was announced on April 28, 2004, and the mission was expected to take place as early as Nov. 26, 2006.
Modified Proton launches comsat
2007 July 7: A Russian rocket lifted a communications satellite for an American satellite TV provider. The Proton-M vehicle with a Briz-M upper stage lifted off from Cosmodrome Baikonur's Pad 39 at Site 200 on July 7, 2007, at 05:16 Moscow Time, carrying the DIRECTV 10 communications satellite. According to the Russian space agency, Roskosmos, the Briz upper stage with its payload successfully separated from the third stage of the launch vehicle in an initial parking orbit at 05:25 Moscow Time. After several engine firings, the DIRECTV 10 spacecraft was expected to separate from the upper stage at 14:24 Moscow Time on July 7.
The 5,893-kilogram DIRECTV 10 spacecraft is based on Boeing's 702 platform and designed for broadcasting high-definition TV signals over the continental United States, Alaska and Hawaii. Its "dry" mass (without propellant and consumables) is 3,715 kilograms. The satellite is expected to operate for 15 years in the geostationary orbit in the point 102.8 degrees and 99.2 degrees West longitude, over the Equator. The spacecraft carries total 131 Ku-band transponders for national and spot beams and solar panels spanning 48 meters. This was a 16th flight of the Proton-M/Briz-M rocket and the 326th launch in the Proton family of rockets. The mission was delayed from June 20, 2007, at the request of the payload owner.
Specifically for the DIRECTV 10 mission, the Proton-M was upgraded to carry a heavier payload. On the first stage, the engines were modified to enable a 112 percent increase in thrust, while propellant tanks were made thinner than standard. On the second stage, a composite structure replaced the standard stringer and beam body of the avionics bay. The structures forming the propellant tanks were also modified to reduce weight. On the third stage, composite materials also replaced traditional structures forming the tail section. Finally, the entire launch vehicle lacked its usual white paint, as a weight-saving measure.
The Briz-M upper stage for the DIRECTV 10 mission was also modified. The number of pressurization tanks located inside the avionics section and supplying the attitude control system was reduced from to six to two with an increased volume of 80 liters. The set of flight control avionics was moved to the center of the stage to reduce impact during the separation of the external tank. The external tank's structure was modified. Small vernier thrusters were also modified for higher performance.
Published: 2007 Sept. 6; updated Sept. 10
Russia's workhorse rocket failed shortly after the launch from Kazakhstan. A Proton/Breeze M rocket, carrying the JCSAT-11 comsat for JSAT Corp. of Tokyo, Japan, blasted off from Pad 39 at Baikonur Cosmodrome on Sept. 6, 2007, at 02:43 Moscow Time (Sept 5, 2007, 22:43 GMT).
Proton returns to flight successfully
Published: 2007 Oct. 26
Less than two months after its failure, the Proton rocket returned to flight, successfully delivering a trio of satellites for the Russian GLONASS global navigation system. A Proton-K rocket equipped with a Block DM upper stage and carrying three Uragan-M (GLONASS-M No. 18, 19, 20) satellites lifted off from Pad 24 at Site 81 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome on Oct. 26, 2007, at 11:35:24 Moscow Time. According to a representative of the Russian space agency, Roskosmos, the upper stage successfully delivered all three spacecraft to a nominal orbit with an altitude 19,100 kilometers above the Earth surface and an inclination 64.8 degrees toward the Equator. At 15:07 Moscow Time, the satellites successfully separated from the Block DM upper stage. Ground control then conducted two communication sessions with the spacecraft at 15:15 and 15:40 Moscow Time. According to a statemeent from the satellite manufacturer, NPO PM, on March 27, 2007, this mission was expected in September 2007.
2007 Nov. 18: Russia has launched a commercial satellite for a Swedish company. A Proton-M rocket with a Briz-M upper stage blasted off from Baikonur Cosmodrome’s Pad 39 at 04:39 local time on Nov. 18, 2007, (5:39 p.m. EST on Nov. 17) The vehicle carried the SIRIUS 4 communications satellite for SES SIRIUS of Stockholm, Sweden. Officials overseeing the launch confirmed that the vehicle successfully reached its initial orbit. The 4,385-kilogram spacecraft is based on the A2100 AX platform developed Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems, of Newtown, Penn.
The SIRIUS 4 satellite sports 52 active Ku-band transponders and 2 active Ka-band transponders. During its nominal 15-year life span, the SIRIUS 4 was expected to provide a wide range of telecommunications services over Europe, Africa and the Baltic/Nordic region. During the launch, the first three stages of the Proton were expected to use a standard ascent trajectory to place the Briz-M fourth stage, with the satellite, into a suborbital trajectory, from which the Briz-M would place itself and the spacecraft into a circular parking orbit 173 kilometers above the Earth surface and inclined 51.5 degrees toward the Equator. After three more firings, the Briz was expected to inject its payload into a 35,786 by 7,030-kilometer transfer orbit with an inclination 17.3 degrees toward the Equator.
Following separation from the Briz-M nine hours 13 minutes after launch, the satellite was to perform a series of liquid apogee burns to raise perigee, lower inclination, and circularize the orbit at the geostationary altitude of 35,786 kilometers to reach its final position of 5 degrees East longitude over the Equator. The contract to launch SIRIUS 4 was announced on May 4, 2005. The mission was previously expected in the second quarter of 2007 and was later postponed to July 7, 2007, and August 2007.
2007 Dec. 9: Russia successfully delivered a classified payload for the nation's armed forces, official media reported. A Proton-M rocket with a Briz-M upper stage blasted off from Site 81 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome on December 9, 2007, at 03:16 Moscow Time (00:16 UTC). The satellite successfully reached its intended orbit at 12:17 Moscow Time.
Official reports about the launch identified the spacecraft in the traditional manner as part of the Kosmos-series, providing no details about its mission. However the commander of the Russian space forces, Vladimir Popovkin, who oversaw the launch in Baikonur, told state-controlled Channel I that the mission was conducted within the flight test program of a new-generation spacecraft. "This vehicle works in a wide range of waves and frequencies. It is designed for providing communications for the armed forces and other enforcement agencies, as well as in the interests of social development of our country," Popovkin said. Even before the launch, independent observers characterized the payload of the mission as the Globus communications satellite.
2007 Dec. 25: Russia launched a second trio of navigation satellites aimed to complete the national global positioning system. A Proton M rocket with a Block DM-2 upper stage lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome on Dec. 25, 2007, at 22:32 Moscow Decree Time. It carried three Uragan-M satellites for Russia's GLONASS navigation network. The mission was designed to deliver the satellites into a circular orbit with an altitude 19,137 kilometers above the Earth surface and an inclination 64.8 degrees toward the Equator. According to a press-release by the Khrunichev enterprise, the developer of the Proton rocket, issued shortly after liftoff, the launch went nominally. The satellites were expected to separate from the upper stage on December 26, 2007 at 02:24 Moscow Time.
A summary of Proton missions in 2007:
Page author: Anatoly Zak; Last update: February 27, 2011
Page editor: Alain Chabot; Last edit: February 27, 2011
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Proton carries DIRECTV 10 into orbit on July 7, 2007. Credit: Roskosmos