Russian missile with Malaysian satellite to blast off from Baikonur

ITAR-TASSJune 21st, 2009 in Breaking News, Space

MOSCOW, June 21 (Itar-Tass) – Launch vehicle Zenit-3SLB with booster DM-SLB which will put into a geostationary orbit a Malaysian satellite MEASAT-1R, will lift off from the Baikonur cosmodrome, Itar-Tass learnt at the Federal Space Agency (Roskosmos).

According to the agency, “the carrier is to be fired off on June 22 at 01.50 Moscow time”. This is the third blast-off under the international Land Launch programme, Roskosmos specified.

The three-stage launch vehicle Zenit-3SLB, developed by the Yuzhnoye Design Office, resembles in its design the carrier Zenit-3SL, which is fired off under the Sea Launch programme. It is regarded as ecologically clean: it uses kerosene and oxygen as components of missile fuel. The missile, 58 metres long, whose launch weight is 466 tonnes, is capable of putting into low orbits payloads with a mass of up to 14 tonnes. Malaysian satellite MEASAT-1R (MEASAT-3A), equipped with 12 transponders of C-band and 12 transponders of Ku-band, will ensure high-frequency communications over the territories of Asia, Australia, the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Africa. Besides, Ku-band will serve markets of home telecasting in Malaysia and Indonesia.

The spacecraft will ride into a geostationary orbit slot at 91.5 degrees EL and occupies the same position with MEASAT-3 satellite, fired off in December 2006 with Russian carrier Proton-M. According to specialists, the new satellite, along with MEASAT-3, will boost considerably the range of services with an eye to rising requirements of the market of satellite communications. The estimated service life of the satellite with a mass of 2,417 kilos is 15 years.

Participants in the international project Land Launch include the Design Office of Transport Engineering and the Energia Rocket and Space Corporation (Russia) as well as the Yuzhnoye and Yuzhmashzavod design offices (Ukraine). The project provides both for commercial launches as well as for putting into orbit Russian spacecraft of scientific and other designations.

The launch of MEASAT-1R under the Land Launch programme had been initially planned for August 22, 2008. However, a launch date was later repeatedly shifted over damages to the spacecraft while transporting and preparing it at the assembly and testing shed in the Baikonur cosmodrome.