At 09:12 UTC on Feb. 5, 2023, a Proton-M launched from Website 81/24 on the Baikonur Cosmodrome, carrying the fourth Elektro-L satellite tv for pc to geostationary Earth orbit (GEO).
Sunday’s launch is the primary of as much as three Proton launches deliberate for 2023, with the subsequent being Olymp-Okay 2 scheduled for March. The Proton-M launcher is nearing retirement, with a restricted variety of automobiles left accessible to launch over the subsequent few years.
Elektro-L is a sequence of meteorological satellites developed for Roscosmos, the Russian Federal House Company. These are the primary Russian meteorological satellites to function in a geostationary orbit, and solely the second operational sequence of Russian climate satellites.
Every satellite tv for pc has a mass of round 1,620 kg and a design lifetime of 10 years. They’re able to taking photos of a full hemisphere of the Earth in each seen and infrared spectra, offering knowledge on local weather change and ocean monitoring, along with offering climate forecasting knowledge.
The Elektro-L satellites had been developed by NPO Lavochkin and are operated by Roscosmos. They function at the side of the Meteor-M sequence of polar-orbiting climate satellites. The information gathered from the satellites is distributed to the Scientific Analysis Heart of House Hydrometeorology “Planeta” and the Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring of Russia.
Elektro-L satellites have a modular design, with unbiased service and payload modules. The photo voltaic panel gives 1.7kW of energy. The service module, referred to as Navigator, is constructed by NPO Lavochkin and is a standardized platform that may function the service module for different Russian satellites, together with the area telescope Spektr-R.
The imaging system, MSU-GS, gives a decision of 1 km per pixel for the 2 seen bands, and 4 km per pixel for eight infrared bands. Photos are usually taken as soon as each half-hour, however photos may be taken as soon as each 10 minutes in emergencies.
The Elektro-L satellites had been preceded by the Elektro-1 satellite tv for pc, which was launched in 1994, however by no means grew to become totally operational.
Elektro-L Launch Historical past
The primary satellite tv for pc within the Elektro-L sequence was launched on Jan. 20, 2011, from Pad 45 at Baikonur Cosmodrome. The Zenit-2SB launch automobile featured a brand new third stage, the Fregat-SB, a variation of the Fregat stage designed to be used on Zenit rockets. At some point later, the deputy head of Roscosmos introduced that the satellite tv for pc had accomplished the primary sequence of exams, and was now totally operational.
The subsequent satellite tv for pc, Elektro-L № 2, was initially scheduled to launch in 2013, nevertheless it was delayed and ultimately launched on Dec. 11, 2015, aboard a Zenit-3F with the Fregat-SB higher stage. This was Zenit-3F’s 83rd and second-to-final launch.
The third satellite tv for pc was launched on Dec. 24, 2019, by a Proton-M with the DM-3 higher stage.
The Proton rocket, formally designated UR-500, is an expendable heavy-lift launch automobile initially designed as a “tremendous heavy ICBM.” As a consequence of its massive measurement, it was by no means deployed as an ICBM and was as a substitute become a launch automobile, proposed to launch crewed missions to the Moon. The Proton-M launch automobile for this mission had the serial quantity 93568 with Blok DM-03 higher stage quantity 7L.
Proton rockets have an uncommon look because of most Russian rocket parts being transported by rail. The primary stage consists of a central oxidizer tank, which is the utmost width that may be transported by rail, with six gasoline tanks surrounding it. The primary stage is powered by six RD-275 engines hooked up to the gasoline tanks, producing a max thrust of 10,470 kN. Regardless of the gasoline tanks resembling strap-on boosters like these utilized by the American Atlas V rocket, the tanks should not designed to separate from the central tank.
Roscosmos with a tribute to Proton-M, which is nearing retirement. pic.twitter.com/1SsAwN1fmV
— Chris Bergin – NSF (@NASASpaceflight) February 5, 2023
The second stage is powered by three RD-0210 engines together with a single RD-0211, producing a most thrust of two,399 kN. Connected to the primary stage with a lattice construction, the second stage “sizzling levels,” a course of wherein the second stage engines ignite shortly earlier than separating from the primary stage. The third stage of the rocket is powered by an RD-58M, producing a most thrust of 83.4 kN.
Every stage of the Proton rocket is fueled by the poisonous mixture of unsymmetrical dimethyl hydrazine (UDMH) and nitrogen tetroxide (N2O4). Each UDMH and N2O4 are hypergolic fuels that ignite on contact, eradicating the necessity for an ignition system, and may be saved at ambient temperatures. With fuels that don’t want to stay chilled, the rocket can keep on the pad indefinitely. Different rockets to make use of hypergols embrace the US Titan II, III, and IV, the Chinese language Chang Zheng 2 and 4, and the European Ariane 1 to Ariane 4.
Proton additionally options an elective fourth stage, which itself has a number of variants. The Proton-Okay rocket may fly with the Blok D, DM, DM2, or DM-2M. The Blok D stage was used for interplanetary missions and lacked a steering module, counting on the probe to regulate the flight. Blok DM, DM2, and DM-2M had been used for top Earth orbits and featured toroidal gasoline tanks — situated across the engine and behind the oxidizer tank. Proton-Okay launched each Salyut area station and practically the entire modules for the Mir area station, aside from the docking module, which was launched on the House Shuttle. Each the Zarya and Zvezda modules had been launched to the Worldwide House Station (ISS) on a Proton-Okay.
Proton-M was launched in April of 2001, that includes decrease first-stage mass and upgraded engines, permitting the rocket to raise heavier payloads into orbit. A brand new fourth stage, the Briz-M, was launched, with hypergolic propellants, eliminating the necessity to provide a number of gasoline sorts and oxygen top-offs because the liquid oxygen boiled off.
Proton launch automobiles and Briz-M higher levels are developed and constructed by the Khrunichev State Analysis and Manufacturing House Heart in Moscow. Khrunichev is a majority proprietor in Worldwide Launch Companies, the corporate that marketed business Proton launches, and the middle homes all engineering, meeting, and check services wanted for Proton manufacturing.
In February 2009, a brand new enhanced variant of Proton, the Part III Proton-M/Briz-M, was launched, launching the Ekspress-AM44 and MD-1 satellites, and launching the business payload of Echostar XIV in March 2010. This configuration permits the rocket to raise 6,150 kg to a geostationary switch orbit, a rise of 1,150 kg over the unique Proton-M/Briz-M.
Between 2010 and 2015, there have been 8 failures of the Proton rocket. Three of the eight failures had been because of points with the third stage, with one failure related to the primary stage. On July 2, 2013, a Proton-M launching three GLONASS navigation satellites skilled a failure the place the rocket began to pitch aspect to aspect till it will definitely was headed straight in direction of the bottom, crashing close to Space 39 on the Baikonur Cosmodrome. An investigation into the anomaly revealed that a number of the charge gyro packages on the booster had been put in the other way up.
(Lead photograph: Proton-M launches. Credit score: Roscosmos)
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