Saturday, March 15, 2008
Russian Proton Fails After launch
A Russian Proton [YR-500] failed a few minutes after the Proton-M carrier launched from the Baikonur Space Center which Russia rents from Kazakhstan, the Breeze-M orbit insertion booster failed during its upper stage, putting the American DISH Network/SES AMERICOM commercial telecommunications satellite into orbit significantly lower than required for planned use.
International Launch Services (ILS), a joint venture Khrunichev Center, RSC Energia, and U.S. firm Space Transport Inc. headquartered in McLean, Va., have now suffered two launch failures of the Breeze M second stage engine within the passed six months. Commercial launch insurance rates and launch costs within the scetor are anticipated to now go up.
The now stranded satellite may still have a chance of doing a lunar flyby to reach the necessary geosynchronous earth orbit, a maneuver first proved successful about a decade ago.