Half a year ago the second Kazakhstan telecommunications satellite “KazSat-2″ was launched from site #200 of Baikonur with help of a launch vehicle “Proton-2″. What has been happening to the satellite all this time? In what condition is it now? How and from where is it controlled?
On 12nd of July 2011 the heaviest space mission vehicle “Proton-M” was taken to the launching site. It can be launched only from “Baikonur”. Only here exists the required infrastructure for its maintenance. The producer of the vehicle guarantees it will serve not less than 12 years. The launch was delayed three times and the vehicle was each time updated.
It took 3 hours to deliver the vehicle with power service and thermostatic systems on. The speed of the special consist was 5-7 km/h. Specially trained operators served the consist. Even the smallest extra load may damage the satellite. As opposed to “KazSat-1″ this vehicle became more power-consuming. Its cost amounted to 115 million dollars. The first vehicle KazSat-1 cost 65 millions.
Local steppe onlookers
Dimensions and abilities of the vehicle are impressive indeed. Its length is 58,2 m, mass of the prepacked vehicle – 705 t. At the start power of 6 motors of the launch vehicle primary stage is 600 t. It allows to put 25 tons objects to near-Earth orbit and 5 tons objects to geostationary orbit (30 thousand over the Earth surface). That’s why “Proton-M” is irreplaceable when the question is about telecommunications satellite launch.
There are 4 start positions for “Proton” at the cosmodrome now. Though only 2 of them are operable.
The orbital position for the second “KazSat” has become more convenient for work.
Sunsets over the cosmodrome “Baikonur” are exceptionally technological!
The vehicle is filled up 6 hours before the start. Since this moment all operations become irreversible.
What are the benefits for the country in possessing its own communications satellite? First of all – it’s the resolution of the problem of information support in Kazakhstan. The satellite may widen the range of information services for all the population of the country. It includes services of e-government, internet and mobile connection. And what’s even more important – the Kazakhstan satellite will allow to partially refuse services of foreign companies telecommunications companies. It’s the matter of dozens million dollars that will stay in the country.
Various modifications of the launch vehicle “Proton” have been used since 1967. We can assert that all impressive Soviet projects of space development and research of solar system objects would not be possible without this vehicle. Besides, “Proton” is exceptionally reliable for the vehicles of such kind, for all the period of its use only 44 launches out of 370 were unsuccessful.
The main disadvantage of “Proton” are highly toxic fuel components. Though “Proton-M” is provided with the digital control system and the system of unburnt remaining fuel removal in the upper ionosphere. Besides, they are working on an ecologically safe launch vehicle “Angara” whose fuel components will be kerosene and oxygen. This project will have to replace “Proton-M” in future.