Proton M fails to place two satellites in the correct orbit

by | Aug 7, 2012 | Seradata News | 0 comments

A Russian Proton M launch vehicle launched the Telkom 3 and Express MD-2 satellites at 1931 GMT on 6 August. During the launch the Briz M upper stage was to conduct five engine firings to place the satellites into a geostationary transfer orbit. During the third firing of the upper stage the engines shut down after 7 seconds instead of the intended burn of 18 minutes and 5 seconds. Tracking video has shown four items in a 267 kilometre by 5012 kilometre orbit with an inclination of 49.91 degrees. The four items are assumed to be the two satellites, the upper stage and its external tank. It is not yet known if the satellites can be salvaged or will be left to eventually re-enter Earth’s atmosphere and burn up.

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