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.