Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Russian Proton-M set to launch DISH-TV satellite

A Russian rocket will launch a new satellite for the DISH-TV cable system on Saturday as the company expands it's North America broadcast services in high definition.

An International Launch Services Proton-M rocket is set to launch the EchoStar XIV spacecraft from pad 200 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on March 20 at 2:27 pm EDT (1827 GMT).

Lift-off weight of the fueled rocket will be 1.55 million pounds.

This latest EchoStar will operate above the equator at 119 degrees west, and hold a position there to provide nearly 14 million Dish-TV subscribers in the United States high def television programming.

The 191-foot tall Proton rocket began it's horizontal move out to launch pad 39 on Tuesday evening to begin a standard three days of prelaunch hooks ups and preparations.

The Proton's first stage is powered by six RD-276 engines, which when ignited, will burn for just shy of two minutes. The engines burn an oxidizer fuel as a center tank feeds the fuel to six external tanks which line the outside of the rocket.

As the second stage takes over powered flight seconds later, it's three RD-0210 engines will push it's payload higher and faster during the next three minutes and 27 seconds.

Once the third stage takes over, the protective cover cone around the satellite will spit down from the tip and peel away at T+ 5 minutes, 47 seconds into the ascent.
Stage three is powered for just over two minutes with just one RD-0213 main engine and a four nozzle vernier engine as the rocket continues it's eastward trajectory.

All engines are built by NPO Energomash
which is located in Khimky outside of Moscow.

A little less than ten minutes into the ascent profile, the third stage will separate from the Breeze-M (BRIZ-M) upper stage. Two minutes later, at 2:38:44 pm EDT, the Breeze will begin a five minute, 30 second burn -- the first in a series of five burns.

As the Breeze-M carries its payload over Mongolia and the northeastern region of China, it's initial low orbit of 107 miles will slowly be raised over the next few hours as it maneuvers toward a geostationary orbit of 22,250 miles.
The satellite's orbital inclination will be 26.7 degrees to the equator.

Following a series of five long burns by the upper stage, Dish-TV's newest satellite will separate from Breeze at 11:37 pm (0337 GMT) -- just over nine hours following launch as it flies high off the Somalia coast.

The EchoStar-14 (SS/L-1300 design) built by Space Systems/Loral, carries a mass of 14,034 pounds on-orbit, and is expected to be in service for nearly 15 years.

EchoStar carries 103 Ku-Band antennas for receiving and transmitting specific television cable networks for Dish-TV.

Saturday's launch will be the second Proton of the year, and the 58th ILS-launched Proton rocket.

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