- Press Release
- August 12, 2022
ILS Declares Mission Anomaly
International Launch Services regrets the failure of today’s
mission to put the ASTRA 1K satellite into proper orbit for SES-ASTRA.
The Proton K rocket, built by Khrunichev, lifted off on time at
4:04 a.m. today from the Baikonur Cosmodrome (6:04 p.m. Monday EST,
2304 Monday GMT). All three stages of the Proton vehicle performed
normally. The Block DM upper stage, built by RSC Energia, performed
its first burn as planned and reached a circular parking orbit of
175.5 km (109 miles). Preliminary flight information indicates that
the second burn of the Block DM upper stage did not occur as planned,
and the ASTRA 1K satellite was separated into the parking orbit.
“We extend our sincerest condolences to SES-ASTRA and SES-GLOBAL
for the apparent failure of the Block DM to place the ASTRA 1K
satellite into the proper orbit,” said ILS President Mark Albrecht.
“We have a long history of success with the SES-GLOBAL family of
companies – SES was the first commercial customer on Proton. We have
several missions next year with SES companies, and we are committed to
providing timely, reliable service.”
The Proton K vehicle has flown 24 other missions for ILS since
1996, all with the Block DM upper stage. A mission failure in December
1997 also involved the Block DM. The Proton family – including the
upgraded Proton M with the Khrunichev-built Breeze M upper stage – has
flown 26 consecutive successful missions since February 2000.
ILS’ next scheduled Proton mission employs the Proton M with the
Breeze M upper stage. The Breeze M has flown successfully eight times
in various configurations.
A Russian State Commission is being formed to determine the
reasons for the anomaly. ILS will provide details as soon as
definitive information is available for release. A copy of the
official statement from Khrunichev will also be made available upon
translation. In parallel with the State Commission, ILS will form its
own Failure Review Oversight Board to review reasons for the anomaly
and define a corrective action plan.
“ILS will continue business as usual with its Lockheed
Martin-built Atlas family of launch vehicles,” Albrecht said. “We will
work diligently with our partners to return the Block DM to flight as
soon as possible for its few remaining missions on the ILS manifest.”
ILS is a joint venture of Lockheed Martin Corp. in the
United States, with Russian companies Khrunichev State Research and
Production Space Center and RSC Energia. ILS provides launch services
on the Proton and the Atlas vehicles to customers worldwide.
For more information, visit www.ilslaunch.com.
International Launch Services
- Fran Slimmer, 571/633-7462
- mobile: 646/229-4801