Status Report

Measat-3a Launch From Baikonur Cosmodrome

By SpaceRef Editor
June 24, 2009
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Measat-3a Launch From Baikonur Cosmodrome

June 22, 2009. Baikonur launch site, branch office of S. P. Korolev RSC Energia: Upper stage Block DM-SLB has delivered spacecraft (SC) Measat-3a with a mass of about 2.4 tons into its target geotransfer orbit. The launch took place under the Land Launch program using Zenit-2SB launch vehicle (lift-off at 1 hour 50 minutes Moscow Time).

The first burn of the main engine on the upper stage occurred 10 seconds after the separation of the upper composite (upper stage + SC) from the LV second stage (8 minutes 41 seconds into the flight). The engine, having run for 3.3 minutes, brought the upper composite to the reference low-Earth orbit. The second and third burns of the upper stage main engine took the SC from the reference orbit to the target orbit with parameters close to design values (11620 km perigee altitude, 35586 km apogee altitude, 10.6 degree inclination).

The second burn occurred 1 hour 19 minutes after the launch, the engine ran for 5.5 minutes. The third burn occurred 6 hour 12 minutes after the launch, the engine ran for 1.9 minutes. The SC separated from the upper stage while being in the geotransfer orbit, at 8 hours 15 minutes Moscow Time.

The mission control for the upper stage with the SC was provided by the Technical Management (The Technical Manager is the President and Designer General of the S.P.Korolev RSC Energia V.A. Lopota). The mission analysis was conducted by RSC Energia specialists within the Lead Operations Control Team working at the Mission Control Center for upper stages (RSC Energia at Korolev). The Flight Director was the RSC Energia First Deputy General Designer V.A. Soloviev.

The mission plan, which called for three burns of the upper stage main engine in automatic mode, has been fully completed. The spacecraft control has been handed over to the Customer.

The functioning of the upper stage systems was continuously monitored via telemetry received at the Mission Control Center using the facilities involved in data transmission and reception; in particular, the SC separation was detected in real time with telemetry results transmitted directly from the upper stage.

For information:

1. This launch was the third launch for the Land Launch project, which is a land-based version of the Sea Launch project and is based at Baikonur launch site.

2. Upper stage Block DM-SLB is a modification of the DM-type upper stages belonging to the D and DM family of upper stages developed at S.P.Korolev RSC Energia, and is based on modification DM-SL operated under the Sea Launch program, and has state-of-the-art on-board systems (control system, radio system, thermal control system, etc.)

3. In the Land Launch project, RSC Energia, in cooperation with its subcontractors, develop and manufacture upper stages DM-SLB, integrate the upper stage and payload unit adapting them to specific SC, manufacture and integrate an adapter system between the upper stage and the SC. To support the launches, S.P.Korolev RSC Energia, in cooperation with subcontractors, built: upper stage processing facility, sets of checkout equipment for the payload unit and the upper stage for processing facilities at Baikonur.

4. Upper stages of the Block D and DM type developed and manufactured by S.P.Korolev RSC Energia were designed for transferring spacecraft from low-Earth orbits to high-energy orbits, including GEO, as well as for spacecraft injection into trajectories that would take them to the Moon and planets of our solar system. Present-day modifications of upper stages DM are operated together with LVs Proton and Zenit.

5. SC Measat-3a (which was originally called Measat 1R) belongs to Measat Sattelite Systems Sdn Bhd, Malaysia, and is intended for providing telecommunication services to users in South Asia, Middle East, Africa, Europe and Australia, as well as direct TV broadcasting services to customers in Malaysia and Indonesia. The SC position in the geostationary orbit is 91.5 deg. East, where it arrives by means of a final ascent maneuver using its own engines after separation from the upper stage while in geotransfer orbit.

SpaceRef staff editor.