At 2040 GMT on 16 October 2015, an International Launch Services (ILS) marketed Russian-built Proton M/Breeze M launch vehicle successfully lifted off its launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome near Tyuratam in Kazakhstan. Aboard the launch vehicle was the TURKSAT 4B spacecraft which was being carried into orbit for the Turksat Satellite Communications firm. At 4,924kg at launch, the spacecraft was built by the Japanese spacecraft manufacturer Mitsubishi Electric Corporation using its DS-2000 bus/platform.
After an initial injection into a circular parking orbit, more firings of the Breeze M upper stage put the spacecraft and upper stage assembly into an intermediate orbit, followed by a transfer orbit, and finally to a geostationary transfer orbit. Separation of the TURKSAT 4B satellite occurred approximately 9 hours and 13 minutes after lift-off.
TURKSAT 4B will provide telecommunication and direct TV broadcasting services across Turkey, Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa. While the spacecraft has a minimum design life of 15 years, TURKSAT 4B may last double this with expected on-orbit manoeuvre lifespan of 30 years.
In a statement from the firm, the newly incumbent ILS President Kirk Pysher noted: “This is the second ILS Proton launch for Mitsubishi Electric and Turksat, following the launch of TURKSAT 4A in February of last year. It has been an honour to be entrusted with these important satellites and to ensure their safe delivery to orbit. The teams at Mitsubishi Electric, Turksat, Khrunichev, and ILS are to be commended for their tireless work and dedication.”