CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- A Turkish telecommunications satellite designed to cover a vast region over Europe and Asia is poised to lift-off Friday a top a Russian Proton rocket from Kazakhstan.
The launch of an International Launch Services Proton-M from the Baikonur Cosmodrome is planned for 4:40 p.m. EDT (2:40 a.m. local time) from launch pad 39. The launch window is
“This is the second ILS Proton launch for Mitsubishi Electric and Turksat, following the launch of TURKSAT 4A in February of last year," Karen R. Monaghan, ILS Director of Communications, explained on Thursday. "The powerful TURKSAT 4B satellite, weighing nearly 5 metric tons at separation, will enhance direct TV broadcasting services over a wide geographic region including Turkey, Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa."
The TurkSat 4B spacecraft will host 36 transponders to provide increased customer usage. The satellite is expected to operate for at least 15 years, and will have enough maneuvering fuel for up to 30 years of service.
“A little over a minute after lift-off, Proton will experience Maximum Dynamic Pressure and will be traveling at three times the speed of sound," Monaghan said discussing the flight. "The first three stages of Proton will use a standard ascent profile to place the Breeze M upper stage and the TURKSAT 4B satellite into a sub-orbital trajectory. From this point in the mission, the Breeze M will perform planned mission maneuvers to advance the orbital unit first to a circular parking orbit, then to an intermediate orbit, followed by a transfer orbit, and finally to a geostationary transfer orbit."
Spacecraft separation from the Breeze M is expected to occur at 1:53 a.m. (11:53 a.m. local) high over an area north of Madagascar. The deployment of the craft's solar arrays and a series of positioning maneuvers will soon follow before Turksat becomes operational in a few weeks. Turksat will take its place in geostationary orbit at 50 degrees east longitude.
ILS will stream live coverage of today's launch beginning 20 minutes prior to lift-off. Live mission updates will also be available on social media using the hashtag #turksat4b, Monaghan added.