Baikonur to start space liftoffs in 2015 launching Proton-M with British telecom satellite

MOSCOW. KAZINFORM - Launch vehicle Proton-M with upper stage rocket Briz-M and British telecommunications satellite Inmarsat-5F2 will be launched from space centre Baikonur in Kazakhstan on Sunday. Russia will open its space launch programme in 2015 by this liftoff, the press service of the Federal Space Agency Roscosmos told TASS.

"The launch is due at 15.31pm Moscow time (12.31pm GMT) on Sunday," the press service said, noting that this would be the 402nd launch of space rocket Proton. At first a launch of the space rocket was planned on January 31, but it was delayed for a day, as the spacecraft was unprepared for the liftoff. According to the flight sequence, the first stage should separate from the launch vehicle in 120 seconds after the launch, the second stage should separate in another 207 seconds. PLF jettison will be made in 20 seconds after that. The cone made of upper stage rocket Briz-M and the telecom satellite will separate from the third stage in 582 seconds after the liftoff. The satellite will be put on the pre-calculated orbit thanks to five Briz-M power plant switch-ons. The total orbiting time from the launch of the booster to the separation of the spacecraft from the upper stage will make 15 hours 31 minutes. The telecom satellite will separate from the upper stage at 7.02am Moscow time (4.02am GMT) on February 2. After this Briz-M will make two manoeuvres for taking the disposal orbit. Booster Proton-M with upper stage rocket Briz-M will put the satellite on the elliptic super-synchronous exchange orbit with highest altitude of 65 thousand kilometres, the Khrunichev space centre, which designed the space rocket and the upper stage rocket, said at its website. Just a few Proton launches have been made on this orbit for all the time of operating the booster. Then the satellite will be put on the circular geostationary orbit with an altitude of 35.7 thousand kilometres, where it will be used for telecommunications services. The satellite "does not have military designation," the Khrunichev space centre said at its website. Russian-U.S. joint venture International Launch Services (ILS) has concluded a contract for the launch of satellite Inmarsat-5F2 by space rocket Proton-M. Khrunichev state-run space research-and-production centre, which has designed and produced launch vehicle Proton and upper stage rocket Briz-M as well as advanced heavy rocket Angara, owns the ILS controlling stake. Inmarsat-5F2, which is produced by U.S. company Boeing Satellite Systems on the order by British satellite communications operator Inmarsat, is designed for satellite communications in North and South America and the Atlantic. Inmarsat-5F2 is the second one of three fifth-generation satellites Inmarsat. First satellite of this family was successfully launched by space rocket Proton-M in December 2013.

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