ISS-64 mission


ISS crew:

Commander -
Sergey Ryzhikov
Flight engineers:
Sergey Kud-Sverchkov
Kathleen Rubins
Michael Hopkins
Victor Glover
Shannon Walker
Soichi Noguchi


Планета Королёва


Block DM-03 delivered telecommunication satellite into target orbit

September 15, 2015

Today, September 15, the Upper Stage (US) DM-03 developed and produced by RSC Energia successfully injected Russian telecommunication spacecraft (SC) Express-AM8 into target near-earth orbit with the calculated parameters.

The Proton-M launch vehicle with the Upper Stage DM-03 and the spacecraft was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome site No. 81 on September 14 at 22:00 Moscow Time.

In accordance with the flight program the launch vehicle injected the orbital unit as part of US DM-03 and the Express-AM8 SC into reference near-earth orbit and then the spacecraft was delivered to target orbit using the Upper Stage.

For the target orbit formation 3 burns of the US main engine were required. The spacecraft separation from the Upper Stage was recorded on September 15 at 04:37 Moscow Time. Upon separation a pulse was issued to pull away the Upper Stage and the launch Customer took on a responsibility for the spacecraft control.

The Upper Stage 11S861-03 (DM-03) developed and produced by RSC Energia is intended for spacecraft (SC) transfer from reference orbit to target orbit of an Artificial Earth Satellite (AES) and to the departure trajectories to other planets.

The Upper Stage 11S861-03 is based on Block D which was developed under lunar program N1-LZ and first successfully operated in flight in Complex L1 (with the Proton launch vehicle) on March 10, 1967. When developing the Upper Stage 11S861-03 a modular principle was used. The main part of the Upper Stage is the Base Module including the fuel tanks, engine, two propulsion units of the firing system, a self-contained Instrument Compartment and load-bearing frames. To increase the launching weight this self-contained Instrument Compartment with motion control system can be excluded from the Upper Stage; in this case SC takes control of the Upper Stage.

The Block operates on non-toxic propellant components: liquid oxygen + kerosine. To ensure the solid continuum when firing the main engine in weightlessness a special ignition system is used; this system contains two propulsion units operating on high-boiling propellant components.

The Upper Stages of DM type are simple to operate and highly reliable. The capability of multiple ignitions of the main engine allows to perform all the necessary orbital maneuvers to inject spacecraft (SC) into target orbits with a given accuracy.

The Express-AM8 spacecraft - a commercial geostationary telecommunication satellite was made by OAO Information Satellite Systems after Acad. M.F. Reshetnev (Reshetnev ISS) to order of the Russian satellite operator of Federal State Unitary Enterprise (FGUP) "Outer-Space Communication". It is intended to provide television and radio broadcasting, data transmission and multimedia in the European part of Russia, Europe, Africa and Latin America.


OAO RSC Energia is a leading enterprise of rocket and space industry, the head organization for manned space systems. The Corporation is working to create unmanned space and rocket systems (launch vehicles and interorbital transfer), high-tech systems for various applications for use in non-space fields. Since August 2014 the Corporation is headed by Vladimir L. Solntsev.



RSC Energia Press Center




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