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Proton-M flyout continues with launch of Angosat-2


Russia launched Angosat-2 atop a Proton-M rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 15:00 UTC on Oct. 12. The 118th launch of Proton-M passed off from Website 81/24 in Baikonur, and marks the primary launch for the Proton-M rocket for 2022.

The payload for the mission is the Angosat-2 telecommunications satellite tv for pc for the African nation of Angola. Angosat-2 is a alternative for Angosat-1, which was Angola’s first satellite tv for pc and was launched on a Zenit rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in December 2017.

The Angosat-1 satellite tv for pc failed shortly after reaching orbit, and in April 2018, Angola and Russia reached an settlement to fabricate and launch a alternative satellite tv for pc. The alternative satellite tv for pc was manufactured in Russia by Reshetnev Info Satellite tv for pc Programs after shifting from a previous contractor, RSC Energia.

The development of Angosat-2 didn’t add any new prices to Angola, which was partially on account of Angosat-1’s insurance coverage package deal, which consisted of a $300 million contract.

Angola-2 will function a geostationary communications satellite tv for pc, serving areas throughout the African continent and extra particularly specializing in southern Africa. Massing in at roughly two tons, the payload is a high-throughput satellite tv for pc (or HTS) that can present 13 gigabytes of complete bandwidth to areas on Earth that can be in vary.

Angosat-1 as seen being rolled out in 2017 on a Zenit rocket in Baikonur. (Credit score: Roscosmos)

The Proton-M rocket was built-in and assembled horizontally on the meeting and check constructing at Website 94 in Baikonur. The automobile was designed and manufactured by the Khrunichev State Analysis and Manufacturing Area Middle — the identical producer as its successor: the Angara rocket. The Proton launch automobile solely has a couple of remaining flights left as it’s being phased out in favor of Angara.

Angara is Russia’s new heavy-lift launch automobile, using the launch web site on the Plesetsk Cosmodrome, and also will launch from the Vostochny Cosmodrome.

Proton was designed throughout the Chilly Warfare, first flying on July 16, 1965. The automobile was derived from the proposed UR-500 Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM). Later variants have been then developed, making Proton a heavy-lift launch automobile.

The design of the automobile was led by Vladimir Chelomei, who was a rival to Sergei Korolev throughout the area race. Korolev was towards using Proton as a crewed launch automobile on account of its use of hypergolic propellants.

The Proton rocket has been an instrumental rocket for the Soviet and subsequently Russian area station applications. Totally different variants of the design lofted notable area stations, together with the Mir Core Module and different modules for the Mir Area Station and the Zarya, Zvezda, and Nauka modules on the Worldwide Area Station (ISS). The automobile was additionally used to launch the uncrewed Zond spacecraft across the moon.

Proton-M was additionally scheduled to launch the joint Russian-European ExoMars mission. Nevertheless, with the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the mission has been suspended.

The Proton-M rocket with the Angosat-2 payload atop it rolled out by practice from the constructing to the launch pad at Website 81/24 on the Baikonur Cosmodrome. As soon as on the launch web site, the Proton rocket was rotated vertically on the pad. This was finished utilizing a strongback.

Not like some rockets, together with Falcon 9 and SLS — which use a strongback or umbilical tower to gasoline the launch automobile alongside the rocket — Proton is fueled utilizing umbilicals on the backside of the primary stage, between the engines.

At launch on Oct. 12, the six Energomash RD-275M engines ignited, permitting the big automobile to raise off from the pad at Website 81/24. The RD-275M engine runs on dinitrogen tetroxide (N2O4) and unsymmetrical dimethylhydrazine (UDMH) and operates within the staged combustion cycle.

The Proton rocket has been criticized by some in Kazakhstan on account of its use of hypergolic fuels reminiscent of N2O4 and UDMH, that are dangerous for the atmosphere.

Because the Proton-M continues the uphill climb to orbit, the automobile pitches downrange of the launch web site and rolls to the right launch azimuth.

Previous to shutdown on the primary stage, a sequence referred to as hot-staging happens. The engines on the second stage of the Proton-M ignite whereas the stage remains to be hooked up to the primary stage.

The second stage then separates and proceed to loft the Angosat-2 payload towards orbit. Subsequent, the RD-0212 engine on the third stage ignites, and the stage separates from the second stage. The RD-0212 contains a single RD-0213 engine and an RD-0214 vernier engine.

After using this stage, the fourth stage within the type of a Blok DM-03 higher stage is used; this higher stage first flew in 2010. The Blok DM-03 higher stage is tasked with inserting the Angosat-2 payload into the specified orbit.

(Lead picture: The Proton-M rocket lifts off from Baikonur. Credit score: Roscosmos)

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