Russian Proton Rocket Launches Communication Sat For Gazprom – ZMR News Blog

Russian Proton Rocket Launches Communication Sat For Gazprom


The launch of Yamal-601 communications satellite by a Russian Proton rocket for Gazprom Space Systems on May 30 completed first of 6 planned Proton missions for this year. Constructed and contracted by Khrunichev, the launch of the rocket took place at 1:42 p.m. Eastern from Kazakhstan’s Baikonur Cosmodrome. The satellite, weighing 5,400 kg separated after 9 hours. Shchelkovo, Russia’s Gazprom Space Systems contracts regularly and directly with Khrunichev and not International Launch Services, Khrunichev’s Reston that is a commercial sales arm based in Virginia. Yamal-601 marks the 4th satellite that has been launched through Khrunichev directly by Gazprom Space Systems. Roscosmos, the state space corporation of Russian, confirmed that control of the satellite was taken over by Gazprom Space Systems post launch.

Yamal-601 has been designed for the purpose of covering Russia, many bordering nations, parts of Southeast Asia and the Middle East. The satellite was built by Thales Alenia Space, French division of the Franco-Italian manufacturer and replaces 16-year-old Yamal-602 satellite at 49-degreees east orbital position. For internet connectivity, the new Yamal-601 satellite has been equipped with 32 Ka-band spot beams and for other services including TV broadcasting, it has 18 C-band transponders. Also, it has payload power of 7.3 kilowatts and its design is such that it will last for over 15 years. Khrunichev stated that 5 more Proton launch missions(one commercial) have been planned for 2019, with next launch scheduled for June 21 with Spektr-Roentgen-Gamma telescope, Moscow time.

A dual launch is being conducted by International Launch Services of MEV-1 of Northrop Grumman and Eutelsat-5 West B satellite possibly during 2019 third-quarter. Khrunichev is still the majority shareholder of ILS after it became a part of Roscosmos subsidiary Glavkosmos. ILS president Kirk Pysher said that Glavkosmos now owns 2 out of 6 board of directors seats of ILS that earlier belonged to Khrunichev. The changes, according to Pysher, mean that Glavkosmos, ILS and Khrunichev can locate synergies in areas such as launch operations and others for lowering Proton launches costs.

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