Wednesday, September 12, 2012-The Failure Review Oversight Board (FROB) concluded the review of the Russian State Commission report on September 11 concerning the root cause of the Russian Federal Telkom-3/Express MD-2 mission failure which occurred on August 7. The FROB agreed with the Russian State Commission that the root cause of the failure was due to a component of the pressurization system that was not manufactured to specifications. This caused a shutdown of the Breeze M Main engine by the Breeze M flight control system 7 seconds into the planned 18 minute and 5 second 3rd burn.
The corrective action plan for all Breeze M upper stages that was established by the Russian State Commission and Khrunichev State Research and Space Production Center (KhSC) was also approved by the FROB. This includes stringent quality oversight of all rework procedures, testing, support equipment, and personnel, both at the KhSC production facilities and in Baikonur. In addition, ILS and KhSC will develop specific initiatives to enhance the unified Quality Management System (QMS) that is installed and operating at all KhSC production facilities.
“This is an opportunity to learn, enhance and improve the overall reliability and processes of our systems,” said acting ILS Vice President and Chief Technical Officer, John Palmé. “I would like to thank the nine representatives of ILS customers, two insurance underwriting representatives and independent outside subject experts who participated in the ILS FROB process for their professionalism and diligence. We appreciate the patience and support of our customers as we plan for the return to flight of the Proton vehicle.”
The return to flight corrective actions and will be completed prior to the ILS Proton return to flight mission with the IS-23 satellite for Intelsat S.A. of Luxembourg in mid-October. A Russian Federal mission will follow.