April 28, 2008. Baikonour Cosmodrome – RSC Energia after
the city of Korolev
At 9:00 Moscow Time, Integrated Launch Vehicle (ILV) Zenit-3SLB together with AMOS-3 spacecraft as the payload was launched.
The launch objective is to deliver SC of some 1.27 tons by mass to geosynchronous orbit.
Putting this SC into the orbit was performed by Upper Stage (US) DM-SLB from low earth transfer orbit, where the SC/US had been delivered by launch vehicle (LV) Zenit-2SB. Upper Stage DM-SLB is a newly-modified DM-type Upper Stage developed by RSC Energia after S.P. Korolev based upon the DM-SL modification within the D, DM blocks family under the Sea Launch Program, with the up-to-date onboard systems (control system, radio system, thermal control system, etc.) used.
The Mission Program which envisaged triple ignition in an automatic mode of the Upper Stage main engine for SC orbital insertion has been implemented completely.
The first ignition of that engine took place after 8 min. 41 sec. of the flight time following the launch (some 10 seconds upon the US/SC separation from LV 2nd Stage). The engine had worked 2.5 min during the first ignition, which provided final ascent of the US DM-SLB/AMOS-3SC into reference near-earth orbit. The second ignition was performed 1 h 15 min after the launch, the engine had worked 5.5 min. The third ignition was performed within 7 h 5 min 50 sec of the launch, the engine had worked 2.5 minutes.
The main engine second and third ignitions allowed the Upper Stage to deliver SC from reference orbit to target orbit. The SC/Upper Stage separation took place at 16:19 Moscow Time.
Monitoring of the US DM-SLB/SC flight was conducted by the Technical Management led by V.A. Lopota, General Designer, President of RSC Energia after S.P. Korolev.
Mission analysis was performed by the specialists from RSC Energia after S.P. Korolev within the Lead Operational Control Team operating at Mission Control Center for Upper Stages DM-SLB (RSC Energia, the city of Korolev). The Flight Director is V.A. Solovyov, the first Deputy General Designer at RSC Energia.
There was a continuous monitoring of the US onboard system operation by telemetry data received by its Mission Control Center using the data acquisition and transmission facilities involved (in particular, the fact of SC separation was recorded in real time during direct transmission of downlink telemetry data from the Upper Stage.
1. This was a pioneer launch under the Land Launch Project, which is the ground-based modification of the Sea Launch Project based upon Baikonur Cosmodrome. Also the launch was the first flight test of Upper Stage DM-SLB together with Zenit-2SB launch vehicle and the Mission Control Center for Upper Stages created at RSC Energia.
2. Under the Land Launch Project, RSC Energia along with its related entities provides US DM-SLB development and manufacture, US and Ascent Unit (AU) integration as applied to specific SC, manufacture and integration of the US/SC transfer system. S.P. Rocket and Space Corporation Energia together with its related entities developed US Technical Complex, checkout equipment sets for AU and US at the AU and ILV Technical Complexes to support launches of Upper Stages DM-SLB within Zenit-3SLB ILV AU from Baikonur Cosmodrome.
3. D,DM-type Upper Stages developed and manufactured by RSC Energia after S.P. Korolev are designed to deliver SC from low earth orbits to high-energy orbits (including geosynchronous orbit) as well as Moon and Solar system planet flight paths. Modern modification of Upper Stages DM are operated together with Proton and Zenit rockets.
4. AMOS-3 SC made by Israel company-operator "Spacecom" is designed to support direct TV broadcasting and provide other telecommunication services to customers within the regions of Middle East, Europe, eastern coast of South and Northern America.