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Waspie_Dwarf

First Proton Launch of 2008

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First Proton Launch of 2008



See also: Seventh Proton Launch of 2007

(Apologies for the late posting of this news item. It is posted for the purpose of completness.)
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The Khrunichev State Research And Production Space Centre press release is reproduced below:

10.01.2008 Khrunichev’s Proton Being Readied to Make First Flight of 2008

The Khrunichev–made Proton, Russia’s premier heavy launch vehicle, is rapidly approaching its first flight of 2008.
The Proton Breeze M is expected to lift off from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on 28 January, at 3:09 a.m. Moscow Time, carrying Russia’s communications satellite - Express AM-33, designed and manufactured by Thales Alenia Space and Reshetnev Research and Production Association (“NPO Reshetneva”).

As engineers from “NPO Reshetneva” are carrying out preparation of the spacecraft, Khrunichev team and other Russian participants to the campaign are undertaking pre-launch operations with the launch vehicle stages, launch pad and ground –based technical equipment.

According to the current launch schedule, this morning fuelling of Breeze M upper stage with propellants began at technological fuelling station. The fuelling operations are conducted by Russian personnel from Khrunichev and Chemical Transport Engineering Design Bureau.

Source: Khrunichev Press Release Edited by Waspie_Dwarf

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The Khrunichev State Research And Production Space Centre press release is reproduced below:

17.01.2008 Baikonur Cosmodrome:Khrunichev Supporting Two Parallel Proton Launch Campaigns

Two parallel launch campaigns with Proton heavy –lift Proton using Breeze M upper stage are well under way at Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan – Express AM33 and THOR II R (also known as THOR 5). Khrunichev and other Russian space industry organizations are supporting both launch campaign activities.

The first Proton is set to launch, on 28 January, a new Russian communication and broadcasting satellite Express AM33 for FGUP Space Communications (GPKS), a domestic satellite communication operator.

The satellite - designed and built by Reshetnev Applied Mechanics Scientific and Production Association (“NPO PM” of Russia) and Thales Alenia Space- will be placed at 96.5 East orbital slot and will improve Russia’s satellite fleet capacity. Express AM33 is equipped with steerable antennas in C-, Ku- and L-bands and is designed to provide mobile presidential and governmental communications, video services, Internet access, data transmission as well as VSAT networks deployment all over Russia.

Ascent unit assembly operations are now being performed by Russian team. The works will last until 19 January, and then the ascent unit will be transferred into Hall 111 of the processing facility 92A-50 to be integrated to Proton rocket. The works on space launch vehicle integration will start 20 January.

The second, ILS Proton launcher, is being readied to fly in February with THOR IIR telecommunications satellite, built by Orbital Sciences Corporation, for Telenor Satellite Broadcasting of Norway. The prelaunch activities are also progressing smoothly.

At the current stage of the THOR IIR launch campaign, the operations with the launcher and the spacecraft are performed independently by Khrunichev –led Russian team and its foreign partners. After this stage is completed, joint prelaunch activities, including ascent unit assembly and integration to the Proton rocket, will start.

This week, as planned, Khrunichev’s crew has been conducting Proton rocket basic assembly inside Hall 111, Building 92A-50, and it has started preparing its Breeze M upper stage for fuelling to be done 24-25 January.

Preparation of the spacecraft for fuelling, and later for integration with the upper stage, is now being carried out by Orbital’s team. The spacecraft fuelling will be performed by Orbital’s engineers in the very beginning of the next week.

Both launch campaign activities are right on the current schedule.

Source: Khrunichev Press Release

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The International Launch Services press release is reproduced below:

Russian communications and broadcasting satellite Express-AM33 in orbit

From Khrunichev Press Release

BAIKONUR COSMODROME, Kazakhstan, Jan. 28, 2008 -- A Proton M/Breeze M vehicle successfully launched the Russian Express-AM33 satellite today.

Liftoff was at 3:18 a.m. Moscow time, and at 12:19 p.m. Moscow time the spacecraft separated from the booster unit into geosynchronous orbit. RSCC is controlling the spacecraft, which will be maneuvered into its operating position of 96.5 degrees east longitude.

The Express-AM33 was designed and manufactured by Reshetnev Research and Production Association (NPO Reshetneva) in conjunction with Thales Alenia Space of France. It will provide digital broadcasting services, Internet access, data transmission and other services in X-, Ku- and L-bands in Russia as well as in the Asia-Pacific region.

The three-stage heavy-lift Proton M booster and the Breeze M upper stage are designed and manufactured by Khrunichev Space Center. The Proton vehicle is the main launcher for the Russian space program and is also used for launching commercial satellites through Khrunichev's partnership with International Launch Services of the United States. This was the 332nd launch of a Proton vehicle since the first Proton mission on July 16, 1965.

Source: ILS News Release

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