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A Proton-M rocket with Turksat-4A satellite shortly after its rollout to the launch pad on Feb. 11, 2014. Credit: GKNPTs Khrunichev
Proton lifts off with Ekspress-AT1 and AT2 satellites on March 16. Click to enlarge. Credit: Roskosmos
Proton lifts off with Luch-5V and KazSat-3 satellites on April 28, 2014. Click to enlarge. Credit: Roskosmos
Proton begins an ill-fated mission on May 16.
Proton with Ekspress-AM6 shortly after its arrival to the launch pad on Oct. 18, 2014. Click to enlarge. Credit: Roskosmos
A Proton rocket launches the Turksat-4A communications satellite during its first mission of the year on February 15.
Russia's workhorse Proton rocket entered 2014 with an overloaded flight manifest, where international commercial missions competed with the ever expanding Russian federal space program. Following a flawless launch of the Turksat-4A communications satellite on February 15, the commercial flight manifest for Proton looked as following:
By March 2014, the maintenance work at Pad 39 at Site 200 in Baikonur required to postpone the launch of the Russian Ekspress-AM4R communications satellite from April 6, 2014, to around May 16.
As a result, Proton mission to launch the KazSat-3 communications satellite for the government of Kazakhstan and the Luch-5V data relay satellite scheduled to lift off around April 28, would follow the launch of Ekspress-AT1 and AT-2 satellites on March 16.
In turn, the launch of Ekspress-AM4R satellite would be followed by a classified Proton mission carrying a secret payload known as Olymp ("Olympus") or Luch ("beam") at the end of May 2014.
Proton delivers a pair of Ekspress satellites
Russia's commercial workhorse rocket successfully delivered a pair of communications birds into orbit for the nation's main operator.
A Proton-M/Briz-M launch vehicle lifted off from Baikonur Cosmodrome's Pad 24 at Site 81 on March 16, 2014, at 03:08 Moscow Time (7:08 p.m. EST on February 15). The rocket carried Ekspress-AT1 and Ekspress-AT2 communications satellites for Russian Satellite Communications Company, RSCC.
By the end of April, four Proton missions had solid launch dates set for the second quarter of 2014:
A Proton rocket lifted off with the third satellite for the Luch-M data relay network alongside a communications satellite for Kazakhstan. The launch of a Proton-M rocket with a Briz-M upper stage from Pad 24 at Site 81 in Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan took place as scheduled on April 28, 2014, at 08:25 Moscow Time (12:25 a.m. EST). The launch vehicle was carrying the KazSat-3 communications satellite for the government of Kazakhstan and the Luch-5V data-relay satellite riding to orbit above the KazSat-3.
Proton fails again with Ekspress satellite
A Proton rocket failed during the operation of its third stage leading to the loss of a Russian communications satellite Friday.
A Proton rocket with Briz-M upper stage lifted off as scheduled on May 16, 2014, at 01:42 Moscow Time, from Pad 39 at Site 200 in Baikonur Cosmodrome. The launch vehicle carried the Ekspress-AM4R communications satellite. According to the Russian space agency, Roskosmos, the anomaly during the firing of the third stage prevented the satellite from reaching orbit. The State Commission overseeing the mission was analyzing the telemetry in the effort to determine the cause of the failure, Roskosmos said.
In preparation for this launch, Ekspress-AM4R was delivered to the launch site on February 28. By March 2014, maintenance work at Pad 39 at Site 200 in Baikonur required to postpone the launch of the Ekspress-AM4R from April 6 to around May 16.
On August 19, a third stage of the Proton rocket, which had been modified to address all the issues raised by investigators in the wake of the May 16 launch accident, departed its assembly factory at GKNPTs Khrunichev in Moscow on its way to Baikonur Cosmodrome.
The Proton's return to flight is currently scheduled for September 28. As of August 19, Proton rockets were expected to fly four missions before the end of the year with a launch scheduled at the end of each month:
It would bring a total number of Proton flights during 2014 to eight. Roskosmos also planned a key meeting in September to approve the rocket's flight manifest for 2015.
The Proton-M rocket with a Briz-M upper stage lifted off as scheduled on Sept. 28, 2014, at 00:23:00 Moscow Time (4:23 p.m. EDT on Sept. 27). The launch vehicle will be carrying a classified payload known as Olymp ("Olympus") as well as Luch ("Beam"), which belongs to the Russian Ministry of Defense. The spacecraft, developed at ISS Reshetnev in Zheleznogorsk, will likely be inserted into a geostationary orbit 36,000 kilometers above the Equator around nine hours after the liftoff, where it will provide communications for the Russian military.
Russia's workhorse Proton rocket successfully delivered a new and improved version of the nation's largest indigenously built communications satellite Tuesday. The liftoff of a Proton rocket with a Briz-M upper stage from Site 81 in Baikonur Cosmodrome took place as scheduled on Oct. 21, 2014, at 19:09:32 Moscow Time. The launch vehicle carried the Ekspress-AM6 communications satellite for the Russian Satellite Communications Company, RSCC.
Following the launch of the Ekspress-AM6 satellite on October 21, Proton was expected to deliver the Astra-2G spacecraft for Luxembourg-based operator SES S.A. The launch vehicle for the mission was rolled out to Pad 39 at Site 200 on November 24. However on the morning of November 28, the Russian space agency, Roskosmos, announced that launch pad tests had revealed a problem with the flight control avionics onboard the vehicle's Briz-M upper stage. As a result, the State Commission overseeing the launch made a decision to return the rocket back to the assembly building at Site 92A-50, Roskosmos said.
According to the Russian press, the Astra-2G mission would now be postponed until after the launch of the Russian Yamal-401 communications satellite on another Proton rocket scheduled for December 16. According to the revised flight manifest, Astra-2G could now fly on Dec. 28, 2014.
Proton delivers Yamal-401
During its 400th mission, the Russian commercial workhorse rocket delivered a communications satellite for the nation's gas and oil conglomerate Gazprom. The liftoff of a Proton-M rocket took place as scheduled on Dec. 15, 2014, at 03:16:00 Moscow Time, from Pad No. 24 at Site 81 in Baikonur. The launch vehicle carried the Yamal-401 communications satellite into a geostationary orbit at 90 degrees East longitude over the Equator.
Proton delivers Astra-2G
On Dec. 28, 2014, a Proton-M/Briz-M rocket launched the Astra-2G communications satellite for the Luxembourg-based operator SES, making the final Russian orbital launch attempt of the year.
A complete list of Proton launches in 2014:
Page author: Anatoly Zak
Last update: March 9, 2016
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