Russian State Commission Issues Results Of Proton Review

Apr 28, 2006

The Russian State Commission has completed its investigation into the Proton M/Breeze M anomaly that left the Arabsat 4A satellite in the wrong orbit eight weeks ago, during a mission for International Launch Services (ILS).

The commission concluded that an anomaly in the oxidizer supply system caused the Breeze M upper stage main engine to shut down prematurely. Based on telemetry data, the most probable cause of the oxidizer supply interruption was a foreign particle that blocked a nozzle of the booster hydraulic pump, the commission stated.

Flight operations should be able to resume after corrective actions have been implemented, the commission stated. Implementation of such steps is expected by the end of May.

The launch of the Arabsat 4A satellite took place at 11:10 p.m. Moscow time Feb. 28 (2:10 a.m. March 1 at the Baikonur launch site). The Proton M launch vehicle inserted the space head unit (Breeze M upper stage with satellite) into the proper orbit, according to the mission profile.

At 5,536 seconds after liftoff, during the second burn of the Breeze M, an unplanned main engine shutdown occurred. In accordance with standard procedures, the flight control system produced an emergency command, and at 5,541 seconds after liftoff the spacecraft was separated from the upper stage, into an orbit of 51.5 degrees inclination, 14,679 km apogee altitude and 506 km perigee altitude.

The State Commission reviewed all possible failure scenarios based on telemetry data received from the Breeze M upper stage. To verify possible scenarios, various units have been tested in test stands, including test firing of the main engine.

The commission is developing corrective actions for additional inspection of the Breeze M and Breeze KM main engines, which are of the same type, to prevent recurrence of similar anomalies.

Concurrently, the ILS Failure Review Oversight Board will commence a series of meetings in Moscow. The FROB will review the final report and corrective action plan in accord with U.S. and Russian government technology control regulations, with a goal of completing its work by the end of May.

ILS is a Lockheed Martin joint venture based in McLean, Va. ILS markets commercial launch missions on the Lockheed Martin Atlas rocket and on the Russian-built Proton vehicle to satellite operators worldwide.

Copyright 2006 by Space Daily, Distributed United Press International

Explore further: SpaceX launches supplies to space station (Update)

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Your Phone, Yourself: When is tracking too much?

Apr 24, 2011

(AP) -- If you're worried about privacy, you can turn off the function on your smartphone that tracks where you go. But that means giving up the services that probably made you want a smartphone in the first ...

The Shoulders of Giants

Feb 08, 2010

America’s ambition to explore space has not come without a human cost. The decisions being made today about our future in space depend on lessons learned from past tragedies.

SMOS and Proba-2 satellites installed in launch tower

Oct 28, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- In readiness for launch on 2 November, ESA’s SMOS and Proba-2 satellites - encapsulated in the launcher fairing - have been transported from the cleanroom and installed in the launch tower ...

Earth Explorer mission GOCE launches

Mar 17, 2009

This afternoon, the Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer (GOCE) satellite developed by the European Space Agency (ESA) was lofted into a near-Sun-synchronous, low Earth orbit by a Rockot ...

Recommended for you

NASA's space station Robonaut finally getting legs

58 minutes ago

Robonaut, the first out-of-this-world humanoid, is finally getting its space legs. For three years, Robonaut has had to manage from the waist up. This new pair of legs means the experimental robot—now stuck ...

Sun emits a mid-level solar flare

Apr 18, 2014

The sun emitted a mid-level solar flare, peaking at 9:03 a.m. EDT on April 18, 2014, and NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured images of the event. Solar flares are powerful bursts of radiation. Harmful ...

Impact glass stores biodata for millions of years

Apr 18, 2014

(Phys.org) —Bits of plant life encapsulated in molten glass by asteroid and comet impacts millions of years ago give geologists information about climate and life forms on the ancient Earth. Scientists ...

The importance of plumes

Apr 18, 2014

The Hubble Space Telescope is famous for finding black holes. It can pick out thousands of galaxies in a patch of sky the size of a thumbprint. The most powerful space telescope ever built, the Hubble provided ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

NASA's space station Robonaut finally getting legs

Robonaut, the first out-of-this-world humanoid, is finally getting its space legs. For three years, Robonaut has had to manage from the waist up. This new pair of legs means the experimental robot—now stuck ...

Cosmologists weigh cosmic filaments and voids

(Phys.org) —Cosmologists have established that much of the stuff of the universe is made of dark matter, a mysterious, invisible substance that can't be directly detected but which exerts a gravitational ...

Ex-Apple chief plans mobile phone for India

Former Apple chief executive John Sculley, whose marketing skills helped bring the personal computer to desktops worldwide, says he plans to launch a mobile phone in India to exploit its still largely untapped ...

Filipino tests negative for Middle East virus

A Filipino nurse who tested positive for the Middle East virus has been found free of infection in a subsequent examination after he returned home, Philippine health officials said Saturday.

Egypt archaeologists find ancient writer's tomb

Egypt's minister of antiquities says a team of Spanish archaeologists has discovered two tombs in the southern part of the country, one of them belonging to a writer and containing a trove of artifacts including reed pens ...