RESTON, VA, December 7, 2010 – On 05 December, a Russian Federal mission of a Proton M Block DM-03 vehicle was launched with three GLONASS-M navigation satellites from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and resulted in a mission failure.
A Russian State Commission was established on 05 December to determine the cause of the failure and to establish corrective actions. We expect to receive an interim report in approximately one week that may include details on the respective performance of the Block DM-03 upper stage built and operated by RSC Energia (Energia) and the three lower Proton M stages, all built and operated by Khrunichev Research and State Production Center (Khrunichev), the majority owner of ILS. While the Proton M is a flight-proven configuration, this was a maiden flight of the Block DM-03 upper stage, which is a derivative of Energia’s Block DM-3.
The KA-SAT satellite built by Astrium for Eutelsat is scheduled for launch on 20 December at 03:47 (Baikonur) using the Proton M Breeze M launch vehicle. The Breeze M upper stage, like the Proton M stages, is built and operated by Khrunichev. The KA-SAT satellite launch campaign continued with the completion of the spacecraft propellant loading yesterday, and the start of joint operations today with mating to the payload adapter system.
Further information will be provided on the status of the 05 December Proton M Block DM-03 GLONASS-M mission investigation as well as the upcoming ILS Proton KA-SAT launch as soon as it becomes available.