In the latest disaster to beset Russian space industry, a Russian Proton M rocket went out of control shortly after its launch from the Baikonur launch site, near Tyuratam in Kazakhstan at 0238 GMT on 2 July. Three Glonass navigation satellites meant for the Russian equivalent of the GPS navigation constellation were destroyed in the subsequent explosion and impact with the ground. The cause of the failure is as yet unknown though a first stage engine shutdown was reported. Footage of the crash of the Proton M/Blok DM-03 was played on Russian Television.
Tag Archives | Proton M
The SES-6 commercial communications satellite was successfully launched at 0918 GMT on 3 June 2013 by a Russian-built Proton M/Breeze M from the Baikonur space centre, near Tyuaratam, Kazakhstan. The satellite is not planned to be separated from the Breeze M (Briz M) upper stage until 0049 GMT on 4 June.
Proton M launch undershoot: ILS says it was too warm propellants that ultimately doomed Breeze M turbopump
Having already noted that the Proton M Breeze M launch undershoot of the Yamal 402 spacececraft on 8 December 2012 had been caused the failure of the Breeze M upper stage’s oxidiser pump bearing during the start of the 3rd burn, the ILS Failure Review Oversight Board (FROB) has explained that the “adverse conditions” that caused this were that the propellants were too warm at launch and that the engine’s warming effect was more than usual.
The Russian failure investigation into the Proton M Breeze M undershoot on 8 December 2012 which stranded the Yamal 402 communications spacecraft (the satellite later recovered itself albeit with some loss of projected lifespan) has found that found that “adverse conditions” affected startup of the 3rd burn of the Breeze M (Briz-M) upper stage resulting in damage being caused to a Breeze M engine bearing on the oxidizer side of the turbo pump. This ultimately resulted in the failure of the bearing during the 4th burn and caused the 4th burn of the Breeze M to end about four minutes early, The “adverse conditions” have not yet been disclosed.
The International Launch Servies (ILS) Failure Review Oversight Board (FROB) agreed with the conclusons of the official failure investigation.
It has been announced that the Russian-built Breeze M (Briz-M) upper stage that was responsible for the faulty Proton M launch in August of Telkom 3 and Express MD-2 satellites, has blown up on 16 October. The explosion is thought to have been caused by the mixing of residual hypergolic propellants which are designed to ignite on contact. NASA and the US Air Force are monitoring the debris cloud to see if it threatens the International Space Station or any other spacecraft. US Space Command has catalogued at least 80 pieces of debris.
At 0837 GMT on 14 October, a Russian-built Proton M/Breeze M launch vehicle successfully launched the 2,730kg commercial communications satellite Intelsat 23 from the Baikonur launch site near Tyuratam, Kazakhstan. The launch, which was marketed by the International Launch Services company, was a successful return to service for the Proton launch vehicle after a Proton M/Breeze M launch failure in August. That failure which stranded two communication satellites, Telkom 3 and Express MD-2, in an incorrect orbit was attributed by an investigation as being caused by a manufacturing fault in the Breeze-M (Briz-M) upper stage.
Proton M returned to flight status after manufacturing cause into previous launch failure found (Updated)
Commercial launch services company, International Launch Serivces (ILS), which is part of the Russian rocket firm Khrunichev, has announced the findngs of an investigation into the 6 August failure of a Proton M flight which stranded two satellites, Telkom 3 and Express MD-2 in an an incorrect orbit. The ILS Failure Review Oversight Board (FROB) agreed with the conclusion of the Russian State Commission that the failure was caused by a fault in the Breeze-M (Briz-M) upper stage fuel system which in turn was a result of a production fault. Following this it was announced that the Proton M would be returned to flight status with the next flight of the rocket set for 14 October. This launch will carry the Intelsat 23 commercial communications satellite.
Russian news wires (Interfax, RIA Novosti etc) report that the head of the Russian space agency, Roscosmos, Vladimir Popovkin has announced that the agency has ordered the recall of an entire batch of Breeze-M (Briz-M) upper stages so that they can been stripped down and checked out fully. It was a fault on an upper stage from this batch that led to the latest Proton-M launch failure on 6 August. That failure lost the Telkom-3 and Express MD2 satellites abouard which, according to the Flightglobal/Ascend database were insured for $185 million and $37.3 million respectively.
Hyperbola is a technology orientated spaceflight blog written by Flight technical editor Rob Coppinger
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