PARIS — A Russian Proton-M/Breeze-M rocket on Nov. 12 successfully placed a Russian military communications satellite into geostationary orbit, setting up a commercial Proton mission in mid-December carrying anKa-band mobile broadband satellite.
Launched from the Russian-run Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, the Proton’s Breeze-M upper stage separated the Raduga-1M satellite into orbit some nine hours after launch.
Proton’s manufacturer, Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center of Moscow, and satellite builder ISS Reshetnev of Krasnoyarsk, Russia, issued statements saying the launch was a success and that the satellite had been turned over to Russia’s defense forces.
Reshetnev said Raduga-1M is healthy in orbit, communicating with ground controllers and correctly oriented to the sun.
London-based Inmarsat has three Proton launches scheduled between now and late 2014, all carrying the company’s new Global Xpress satellites, which use military and civilian Ka-band frequencies to provide broadband to mobile platforms.
That launch is now planned for early December, with two more satellites slated for Proton campaigns in 2014 to complete the Global Xpress constellation in geostationary orbit.
Follow Peter on Twitter: @pbdes