(press release taken from Khrunichev website)

Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, 21 January, 2014 – Pre–launch processing of the Proton M/Breeze M/TurkSat 4A integrated launch vehicle (ILV) continues at the Baikonur Cosmodrome. The launch of TurkSat 4A, a communications satellite built by Mitsubishi Electric – МЕLCO of Japan for TurkSat AS, the only satellite operator in Turkey, is scheduled for this February to become the first Proton mission of the year.

At this time, the satellite, the Proton launch vehicle, the Proton upper stage as well as the other ILV components are undergoing component-level processing at the Cosmodrome’s Proton Processing Facility. Also, operations are under way aimed at preparing the dedicated Proton Launch Pad for ILV installation.

As part of the overall schedule, the Breeze M upper stage was rolled out from Integration-and-Test Facility (IFT) 92A-50 to the Breeze M fueling station earlier today for loading Breeze M high-pressure tanks with propellants within the next few days. The Breeze M will then be rolled back to IFT for further processing as required for mating Breeze M to the spacecraft. In parallel, Khrunichev together with other space industry companies are completing, at IFT, final assembly of the three-stage Proton launch vehicle. The Proton LV integration should be followed by a comprehensive series of tests. Meanwhile, the MELCO team are engaged in Turksat component-level tests and pre-fueling processing in the spacecraft clean room.

The launch of a Proton M with Turksat 4A aboard is contracted by International Launch Services (ILS), a Russian/U.S. joint venture that has exclusive rights to market the heavy-lift Proton LV worldwide. ILS was incorporated in the United States in 1995. Today, the company is headquartered in Reston, VA. Since May 2008, the company’s majority stock is owned by the Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center, Moscow, Russia, the designer and manufacturer of the Proton LV and the Breeze M Upper Stage.

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