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  ILS Proton-M with Mexsat 1 failure (5.16.15)

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Author Topic:   ILS Proton-M with Mexsat 1 failure (5.16.15)

Posts: 5043
From: Geneva, Switzerland
Registered: May 2006

posted 05-16-2015 06:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A Russian Proton-M rocket ferrying Mexico's Mexsat 1 telecommunications satellite crashed in eastern Siberia minutes after launch on Saturday (May 16), The New York Times reports.
The Proton-M rocket was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 11:47 a.m. and crashed in the Chita region of Siberia about eight minutes later, the reports said.

The failure appeared to have occurred with the rocket's third stage, which was intended to bring the satellite to an altitude of about 110 miles. At that point, it was supposed to have been propelled by engine boosters into stationary orbit.

Robert Pearlman

Posts: 32426
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 05-16-2015 09:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
International Launch Services (ILS) release
ILS Declares Proton Launch Anomaly

Khrunichev and International Launch Services regret to announce an anomaly during today's (May 16) Proton mission with the Centenario satellite.

The satellite was built for the Mexican government's Ministry of Communications and Transportation, Secretaria de Comunicaciones y Transportes (SCT), by Boeing Satellite Systems International.

The Proton Breeze M rocket lifted off at 11:47 local time from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, carrying the Centenario satellite. Preliminary flight information indicates that the anomaly occurred during the operation of the third stage, approximately 490 seconds after liftoff.

A Russian State Commission has begun the process of determining the reasons for the anomaly. ILS will release details when data becomes available. In parallel with the State Commission, ILS will form its own Failure Review Oversight Board (FROB). The FROB will review the commission’s final report and corrective action plan, in accord with U.S. and Russian government export control regulations.

ILS remains committed to providing reliable, timely launch services for all its customers. To this end, ILS will work diligently with its partner Khrunichev to return Proton to flight as soon as possible.

Robert Pearlman

Posts: 32426
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 05-30-2015 08:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Roscosmos statement (translation via SpaceNews)
The Roscosmos Agency Commission investigating the failed launch of the Proton-M with the Centenario spacecraft May 16, 2015 from Baikonur Cosmodrome announced the outcomes of its work.

The commission members (representatives of the customer, Roscosmos and the Russian Federation Ministry of Defense, heads of industry R&D institutes and production facilities) performed an analysis of the Proton-M and its components manufacturing process, the process of acceptance, transportation, testing and processing, as well as telemetry and ranging information.

Conclusion: Abnormal termination of the Proton-M flight was caused by the Stage 3 Steering Engine failure due to increased vibration loads occurring as a result of the imbalance of the turbo pump unit rotor caused by the degradation of its material properties at high temperatures, and improper balancing.

By the order of Roscosmos head Igor Komarov, Khrunichev Space Center and its subsidiaries are developing an action plan to address the causes of the accident, which includes:

  • Changing materials used for the turbo pump rotor shaft manufacturing;
  • Revision of the turbo pump rotor balancing techniques;
  • Upgrade of the steering engine turbo pump mount to the main engine frame, and others.
The Commission also identified a number of deficiencies in the enterprises' Quality Management System. An action plan to address these will be developed within a month.

The date of the Proton-M next launch will be announced by Roscosmos in June 2015.

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