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Boeing COSC Owner Operator Conference Launch Panel Summary

October 28, 2013
Jim Kramer

 

On October 28-30th Boeing held their owner operator conference in Los Angeles.  The conference, held every two years, provided an opportunity for product updates, information sharing as well as networking.

Jim Kramer, Senior Director of Sales and Program Development at International Launch Services (ILS) spoke on the Business Development Launch Vehicle Panel moderated by Art Rosales of Boeing.  Kramer was joined by representatives from Arianespace, SpaceX, Lockheed Martin Commercial, Sea Launch and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.  The informal panel had speakers answering questions posed by both the moderator as well as the audience.  This format provided for an excellent discussion.

Below is a summary of Kramer’s message.

ILS Manifest
ILS has successfully launched 6 satellites in 2013 and has 1 more commercial and 2 more Federal missions planned by the end of the year.  Likewise, 2014 plans to be another active year with 10-12 Proton missions scheduled for launch from Baikonur.  Looking further into the future the ILS manifest for 2015 still has availability to accommodate customers.

Proton Evolution
ILS and Khrunichev are continually working on new developments to accommodate changes in technology driven by our customers’ demands for heavier, larger volume satellites, lighter stackable satellites and electric propulsion satellites. Commercial Proton initially had a lift capacity of 5 MT to geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO). Over time, the vehicle has evolved to the current configuration being flown which is 6.15 MT.

Phase IV Enhancements
The Phase IV enhancements, now in development, will provide 200 kg of additional performance to GTO bringing total payload systems mass capability to 6.35 MT.

These enhancements will be incorporated into the manifest starting in 2014, and are planned to become the standard Proton launch vehicle in 2015.

Alternative Mission Designs:  Super-synchronous Transfer Orbit (SSTO) Missions and Direct to Geostationary (GSO) Insertion Missions
Proton has flight proven SSTO mission capability in 2012.   This mission design can provide up to 200 kg additional performance for use by heavier satellites, additional projected lifetime or reduction of orbit-raising required for electric propulsion.

Proton has provided direct GSO mission insertion for the Russian Federation and Russian domestic satellite operators for many years.   ILS has commercialized this heritage capability and provides direct GSO insertion missions for lighter satellites.   Whether bi-prop, electric propulsion or a hybrid of both, ILS Proton can directly insert a satellite up to 3200 kg to GSO.

Dual Launch Capability and Accommodating Electric Propulsion Satellites
Proton has successfully demonstrated the ability to launch two spacecraft into GTO or using the GSO/GTO combination mission design.  This means ILS could launch two electric propulsion satellites (two large, over 3 MT each) which could provide up to 10 kw payload power each or could be used for smaller spacecraft like the Boeing 702SP which would have the advantage of decreasing the orbit raising time of 6-8 months on our competitors to only a couple of months on Proton.

Fairing Upgrades
The 4 Meter Fairing accommodates most if not all satellite platforms.  Proton is planning an additional fairing stretch of 2.45 meters to accommodate anticipated dual launch requirements which can be achieved with only a minimal performance impact of 50 kg. The 5 Meter Fairing initial design has been completed with development put on hold pending increased market demand and business case justification.

Angara-The Next Generation
The next generation Angara vehicle, developed by Khrunichev, will provide maximum flexibility to meet customer requirements.  The light and medium to heavy lift variant Angara will use a more environmentally friendly liquid oxygen-kerosene mixture. A variant of the first stage of the Angara system was flown 100% successfully during the first three missions of KSLV in 2009, 2010 and 2013. 

Angara 5 is planned in the latter part of 2014 from Plesetsk. The commercial use of Angara will be introduced only after it becomes fully operational on Russian federal missions.

 

Jim Kramer

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