BADR-5 Mission Success

We have had a successful mission with the Proton M Breeze M rocket, carrying the BADAR-5 satellite built by EADS Astrium and Thales Alenia Space for Arabsat. We have had confirmation that the satellite separated from the vehicle on schedule at 3:13 a.m. EDT, or 07:13 UTC, 9 hours and 13 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.

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Stage Separations

We had a successful liftoff about 11 minutes ago of our Proton M Breeze M rocket, which is carrying the BADR-5 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 7 minutes.

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Happy 55th Birthday Baikonur!

Launch campaigns in Baikonur are always special, but we had a very rare opportunity to join KhSC and community members in the Baikonur City Jubilee celebration. The day started with a parade in the stadium and ended with a beautiful fireworks display. Astrium, ARABSAT and ILS were honored to be asked to march alongside KhSC. When we heard about the celebration, we remembered our visit to the space museum at the Baikonur Cosmodrome. At the museum we learned that the city of Baikonur and the space center (which is what “cosmodrome” means) were founded on June 2, 1955. A casual search of the Internet, however, shows that construction in the area was well under way before that date. This raises the question “So, what’s special about June 2?” Noted space expert Valeriy Menshikov, who took part in 900 launches over a 23-year career at Baikonur, provides an answer to that question in his book on the history of the cosmodrome. According to Menshikov, construction of some of the largest structures of the industrial age had begun here early in 1955, but that the official decree of the Soviet General Staff formally inaugurating construction of a scientific research and testing range at Baikonur was issued on June 2. That’s why local residents consider June 2 to be the “birthday” of the settlement and the Cosmodrome.

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BADR-5 Third and Fourth Burn Completion

We have confirmed that the Breeze M upper stage has successfully completed its 3rd burn, as well as jettisoning its additional propellant tank and completing its 4th burn as well. 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 2:53 a.m. EDT, or 06:53 UTC. Separation of the BADR-5 spacecraft is scheduled to follow the 5th burn completion by about 14 minutes.

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BADR-5 Second Burn Completion

As the Breeze M upper stage of our Proton M rocket continues its climb into space with the BADR-5 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 one hour 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 fourth burn will start and burn for approximately 5 minutes. All this will happen while the vehicle is again out of range of a ground station. We should reacquire the vehicle shortly after the APT is jettisoned.

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BADR-5 First Burn

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.

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PLF Signing

Joint Operations have begun and one of the most popular events is the signing of the payload fairing (plf), which occurred very nicely on May 24th. Each campaign team member got a chance to climb up the ladder to the plf assembly cradle and sign a special message or note that will fly off with the rocket. The payload fairing signing is a ceremonial process of the campaign that means a lot to many, especially to the end customer who was able to write a long, profound message to his colleagues back home about how this upcoming launch of the BADR-5 satellite will bring their company to new heights.

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For the latest news and information, or if you have a question, please email ILS at contactus@ilslaunch.com