Skip to content
December 29, 2009

We have had a successful mission with the Proton M Breeze M rocket, carrying the DTV 12 satellite built by Boeing Space & Intelligence Systems for DIRECTV. We have had confirmation that the satellite separated from the vehicle on schedule at 4:32 a.m. EST, or 09:32 GMT, 9 hours and 10 minutes after liftoff. Everything occurred as planned with ignition, shutdown and separation of the Proton’s first three stages. Then the Breeze M upper stage with the satellite continued the mission, igniting five times, and then releasing the satellite into transfer orbit.

December 28, 2009

We have confirmed that the Breeze M upper stage has successfully completed its 3rd & 4th burns, as well as jettisoning its additional propellant tank. The vehicle is now in a 5-hour coast period, during which we will have nothing to report. The 5th burn is scheduled to start around 4:13 a.m. EST, or 09:13 GMT. Separation of the DTV 12 spacecraft is scheduled to follow the 5th burn completion by about 12 minutes.

December 28, 2009

As the Breeze M upper stage of our Proton M rocket continues its climb into space with the DTV 12 satellite, we have received confirmation that the 2nd burn of the upper stage occurred and shut down as scheduled. The next events are scheduled for about 2 hours from now. The Breeze M upper stage will ignite for a 3rd time and burn for approximately 12 minutes; after that the additional propellant tank will be jettisoned, and the 4th burn will start and complete. All this will happen in a span of almost 20 minutes while the vehicle is again out of range of a ground station. We should reacquire the vehicle shortly after the 4th burn ends.

December 28, 2009

We have received confirmation of completion of the first burn. The vehicle is now scheduled to be out of range for about an hour, after which we will hear confirmation of the second burn.

December 28, 2009

We had a successful liftoff about 10 minutes ago of our Proton M Breeze M rocket, which is carrying the DTV 12 satellite. The three stages of the Proton vehicle have performed as planned, and it is up to the Breeze M upper stage to complete the mission. The upper stage has begun its first burn, which is scheduled to last around 4 minutes.

December 28, 2009

We have liftoff! of the Proton M Breeze M rocket and the DIRECTV 12 satellite.

December 21, 2009

Joint operations started in earnest on 13 December when Boeing moved the DIRECTV 12 satellite into Hall 101 and mated the SC to the adapter. The next day, the SC/Adapter was mated to the Breeze-M and then encapsulated in the Payload Fairing (PLF) on 15 December. With much of the satellite-centric work completed, 19 Boeing personnel departed Baikonur to return home for the launch activities. We celebrated the encapsulation of the PLF by having a Spaghetti and Meatballs night, with the ILS Program Director providing the cooking. We are happy to report that all participants survived his first attempt at cooking in Baikonur!

December 15, 2009

Well, the SC is fueled, tested, verified, closed out and ready to go – a great job by the entire Boeing team. We start joint operations on Sunday, which means that we start assembling all the various parts of the integrated launch vehicle. The first part of this is to put the SC onto the Adapter and mechanically secure it using the KhSC-built Separation System. This is a long day, as you can image so we took some time out to have a BBQ sponsored by ILS and Boeing (Boeing provided the tri-tip and the cooking expertise, which was fantastic). The weather has turned colder, but we are avoiding any snow like that which has been plaguing much of the US recently. Today we also so the roll-out of the Proton with the Russian GLONASS satellites on board. Launch is on the 14th, and I for one am excited because even though I have launched many satellites on Proton, I have yet to watch one actually launch since I am usually working at that time.

December 7, 2009

Well, back home in Virginia, they are experiencing their first snowfall of the season, and here at the Baikonur Cosmodrome it’s actually warmer and drier. We had a few flurries a few days back, but for the most part, it’s been warmer here than back at home. Go figure! KhSC continues to process all the Proton and Breeze-M hardware, preparing for our late December launch, and the Boeing team has been doing an outstanding job processing the satellite. All SC testing is now complete, and we are in the process of filling the SC with the two liquids it uses to fire engines and thrusters – Nitrogen Tetroxide and Mono-Methyl Hydrazine. Each of thee takes a full day, and we expect to be complete by next Tuesday. Stay tuned!

December 2, 2009

Boeing continues to perform their standalone SC operations on schedule. This includes electrical checks of the SC, and preparations for the loading of the SC with propellants. Meawhile, we had our belated Thaksgiving celebration last night. The Baikonur kitchens did an outstanding job as always, and several of the americans commented that it was the best turkey they had ever eaten. Of course, that was not within earshot of their wives or mothers.

November 30, 2009

[b]Early Team Arrival[/b] – “You say goodbye, and I say hello” Greetings and welcome to the DTV 12 Launch Campaign blog, brought to you by the intrepid launch team spending the last 6 weeks of the year in Baikonur to launch the DIRECTV 12 SC to bring even more services to the DIRECTV customers. The early team arrived on 25 November in Baikonur, after getting to spend an extra 24 hours in Moscow. Most of the team took advantage of this and made tours of the Kremlin and Red Square. We even saw Napoleon Bonaparte, Lenin, and Stalin outside Red Square, though they wanted us to pay them to take a picture of them and I saw one using a cell phone, so I’m pretty sure they were not the originals. We bid a passing hello and goodbye to the W7 launch team after their successful launch as we passed them at Yubeleiney airport and settled into our hotel rooms. Weather is a little colder than the Southern Californians are used to on a regular basis, but everyone seems to be adjusting well. [b]Main Team and SC arrival[/b] – “Working for the weekend” While most of our families celebrated Thanksgiving, the DTV 12 launch team kicked off the campaign with our first joint meeting with our KhSC hosts, and preparations for the SC and GSE arrival. On the 26th, we were joined by the Boeing Main Team charter, who had to delay their arrival by a few hours due to heavy fog in the morning here. Bleary eyed is an understatement, as they experienced a 14 hour time change in a little over 36 hours. On 27 November, the DIRECTV 12 SC arrived and was offloaded at the airport and transported to it’s new home for the next few weeks in Building 92A-50. With the arrival of the SC, we received our personal goods, including our “fixin’s” for our belated Thanksgiving dinner, which will be held in a few days. Don’t tell any of us who won the games!

July 18, 2008

Welcome to the seventh ILS Proton launch campaign for 2009 – the launch of the Boeing Space & Intelligence Systems-built, DIRECTV 12 satellite for DIRECTV. Follow along with the mission team as they prepare for the launch.

Connect with ILS

Facebook Twitter YouTube Linkedin