Spaceflight Now Home





Mission Reports




For 12 years, Spaceflight Now has been providing unrivaled coverage of U.S. space launches. Comprehensive reports and voluminous amounts of video are available in our archives.
Space Shuttle
Atlas | Delta | Pegasus
Minotaur | Taurus | Falcon
Titan



NewsAlert



Sign up for our NewsAlert service and have the latest space news e-mailed direct to your desktop.

Enter your e-mail address:

Privacy note: your e-mail address will not be used for any other purpose.



Advertisement






Space Books






Thales 'confident' in recovery of Yamal 402 satellite
BY STEPHEN CLARK
SPACEFLIGHT NOW

Posted: December 13, 2012


A communications satellite owned by a division of Gazprom, the Russian oil and gas producer, is steadily moving toward its operational orbit after a Proton rocket and Breeze M upper stage deployed the craft in an unplanned orbit Saturday, according to industry officials.


Photo of the Yamal 402 satellite at its production facility in Cannes, France. Credit: Thales Alenia Space
 
The Yamal 402 communications satellite lifted off on a Proton rocket Saturday, but the booster's Breeze M upper stage encountered a problem 9 hours into the mission, leaving the spacecraft in an orbit with the wrong altitude and inclination.

Built by Moscow-based Khrunichev, the Proton and Breeze M vehicles serve the commercial market under the auspices of International Launch Services, a U.S.-based subsidiary of Khrunichev.

The liquid-fueled Breeze M stage deployed the Yamal 402 satellite in an orbit stretching from a low point of about 1,900 miles to a high point of nearly 22,200 miles. It's orbital inclination at the time of separation was about 26 degrees.

The Breeze M engine shut down about four minutes earlier than planned on its final burn to place Yamal 402 in a geostationary transfer orbit. The rocket was targeting an orbit with a higher low point, or perigee, and an inclination of 9 degrees, which would have put Yamal 402 closer to its ultimate destination in geostationary orbit 22,300 miles over the equator.

Engineers are confident the satellite will reach its operational position with enough fuel to last for much of its planned lifetime, according to an official with Thales Alenia Space, which constructed the Yamal 402 spacecraft in Cannes, France.

But the craft will burn more propellant than anticipated to make up for the shortfall during launch. The Thales official said Thursday that officials remain cautious in their optimism.

A source quoted by Russia's Novosti news agency said Yamal 402's service life will be reduced to 11 years from its original 15-year design life.

The satellite's primary thruster will fire four times to place the craft in a circular orbit. As of Thursday, three of the burns were completed.

Yamal 402 was designed to provide Ku-band communications services to Russia, former Soviet states, Europe, the Middle East and Africa for Gazprom Space Systems.

In a statement released Monday, Thales said the Yamal 402 satellite was "nominal" following launch and its solar panels partially deployed as planned.

An updated posted Sunday on Khrunichev's website said the spacecraft will be handed over to Gazprom as planned on Jan. 8.

John Glenn Mission Patch

Free shipping to U.S. addresses!

The historic first orbital flight by an American is marked by this commemorative patch for John Glenn and Friendship 7.
 U.S. STORE
 WORLDWIDE STORE

Final Shuttle Mission Patch

Free shipping to U.S. addresses!

The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is available in our store. Get this piece of history!
 U.S. STORE
 WORLDWIDE STORE

Celebrate the shuttle program

Free shipping to U.S. addresses!

This special commemorative patch marks the retirement of NASA's Space Shuttle Program. Available in our store!
 U.S. STORE
 WORLDWIDE STORE

Anniversary Shuttle Patch

Free shipping to U.S. addresses!

This embroidered patch commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Program. The design features the space shuttle Columbia's historic maiden flight of April 12, 1981.
 U.S. STORE
 WORLDWIDE STORE

Mercury anniversary

Free shipping to U.S. addresses!


Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alan Shephard's historic Mercury mission with this collectors' item, the official commemorative embroidered patch.
 U.S. STORE
 WORLDWIDE STORE

Fallen Heroes Patch Collection
The official patches from Apollo 1, the shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews are available in the store.
 U.S. STORE
 WORLDWIDE STORE

INDEX | PLUS | NEWS ARCHIVE | LAUNCH SCHEDULE
ASTRONOMY NOW | STORE

ADVERTISE

© 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.