Successful launch for Turksat 4A

February 17, 2014 11.03 Europe/London By Julian Clover

Turksat 4A launchWATCH VIDEO. The ILS Proton launcher has successfully put the Turksat 4A satellite into orbit. The Mitsubishi-built satellite represents the first ILS Proton launch for both the satellite operator and the manufacturer. It is also the first ILS launch of 2014.

The ILS Proton Breeze M vehicle launched from Pad 24 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome at 03:09 today local time Friday. The first three stages of the Proton used a standard ascent profile to place the orbital unit (Breeze M upper stage and the TURKSAT-4A satellite) into a sub-orbital trajectory. From this point in the mission, the Breeze M performed planned mission maneuvers to advance the orbital unit first to a circular parking orbit, then to an intermediate orbit, followed by a transfer orbit, and finally to a geostationary transfer orbit. Separation of the TURKSAT-4A satellite occurred approximately 9 hours and 13 minutes after liftoff.

Turksat 4A will provide telecommunication and direct TV broadcasting services over a wide geographic region between west of China and east of England, spanning Turkey, as well as Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

ILS President Phil Slack stated, “This is the first ILS Proton launch for our partners, Mitsubishi Electric and TURKSAT, and we are happy to have such a strong foundation for our new relationship. We are honored to be entrusted to deliver our customers’ satellites to orbit. Thank you to all of the teams at Mitsubishi Electric, TURKSAT, Khrunichev, and ILS, who have made this launch a success.”

Ozkan Dalbay, Turksat CEO and Chairman of the Board, said, “The TURKSAT-4A satellite will increase coverage and enhance customer services across Turkey as well as through areas of Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Today’s launch is a significant milestone that strengthens our ties with both ILS and Khrunichev. Thank you to everyone involved in the success of this launch.”

This was the 85th ILS Proton Launch and the 394th launch for Proton overall since its maiden flight in 1965. The Proton Breeze M vehicle is developed and built by Khrunichev Research and Production Space Center of Moscow, Russia’s premier space industry manufacturer and majority shareholder in ILS.

Last year saw a number of delays for the US-Russian project following the failure of the GLONASS Proton launch.