Mission Updates: Proton-M – Nimiq-6

An ILS Proton-M rocket launched on May 17th 2012 at 19:12 UTC carrying the Nimiq-6 communications satellite for Canada.

Mission VideosMission Photos

May 17th, 19:12 UTC
Successful Launch

May 17th 2012 – 19:29 UTC

The Breeze-M upper stage has now cut off as scheduled, The next burn is due to occur in 50 minutes. The vehicle will be out of range of tracking stations at this time and further updates will not be available until the end of the next burn.

May 17th 2012 – 19:24 UTC

The first Breeze-M upper stage lasting 4 minutes and 26 seconds has begun as the mission continues normally.

May 17th 2012 – 19:23 UTC

The final Proton-M stage has shut down on schedule, Next up the Breeze-M upper stage which has five burns to perform.

May 17th 2012 – 19:19 UTC

The third stage has ignited and separated from the second stage. Payload fairing has also been separated.

May 17th 2012 – 19:14 UTC

All four engines on the second stage are burning well as the clear Baikonur night allows cameras to track the rocket in the sky.

May 17th 2012 – 19:14 UTC

The second stage engines have ignited seconds before a successful separation of the first stage.

May 17th 2012 – 19:12 UTC

The Proton has reached Max Q as mission control report all the buildings are shaking due to the launch.

May 17th 2012 – 19:12 UTC

Launch! The 377th Proton has lifted off from Baikonur Cosmodrome on time at 19:12 UTC.

May 17th 2012 – 18:48 UTC

The countdown has passed T-10 minutes and counting as we head towards this Proton night launch. Launch is occurring from Pad 24 in Area 81 of Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. From lift off to spacecraft separation will take 9 hours and 14 minutes.

May 17th 2012 – 18:48 UTC

The launch countdown has just passed T-25 minutes and everything is nominal with the rocket and the weather is green.

May 17th 2012 – 18:30 UTC

With the launch gantry retracted from the fully fueled Proton-M booster launch is on track for lift off at 19:12 UTC.

May 16th 2012 – 13:45 UTC

Video of the rollout is now available at the bottom of this page.

May 14th 2012 – 09:00 UTC

The Proton-M booster with Nimiq-6 Satellite onboard was rolled out to the launch pad today, May 14th.

Photo Credit: Khrunichev

May 10th 2012 – 12:00 UTC

On May 8th the Nimiq-6 spacecraft in it’s payload fairing was mated to the Proton-M booster in Room 111 at Baikonur.

Photo Credit: Khrunichev

May 4th 2012 – 21:00 UTC

Joint operations for this commercial Proton-M launch began today as the satellite was moved into room 101 to be mated to the Breeze-M upperstage.

The Proton-M is a liquid fueled rocket sitting at 56.2m tall with three stages, a Breeze-M upper stage then carries the payloads to their final orbit. Launches began in 1965 and this will be the 377th Proton launch, the 73rd ILS Proton launch, the 22nd Space Systems/Loral satellite to be launched on a ILS Proton, the 8th Telesat satellite launched on a ILS Proton and the 4th ILS Proton launch this year.

The satellite built by Space Systems/Loral weighs 4500kg and with a 15 year mission lifetime will provide commercial communications to Canada through 32 Ku-Band transponders. The satellite will be located at 91.1 degrees west longitude and will be dedicated to the provision of direct-to-home services as part of Telesat’s DTH fleet.

Lift off will occur on May 17th 2012 at 19:12 UTC from Pad 24 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The Proton-M vehicle will lift off with the first stage burning for nearly 2 minutes, from there the second stage will burn for just over 3 minutes and the final Proton-M stage will burn for 4 minutes. Payload fairing jettison will occur nearly 6 minutes into the mission. After the third stage burn of the Proton-M the Breeze-M upper stage with Nimiq-6 satellite will separate and shortly after ignite for the first time.

The first Breeze-M burn will last 4 minutes and 26 seconds, after a over 50 minute coast phase the second Breeze-M burn will occur and will last nearly 18 minutes. A lengthy 2 hour coast phase will then be followed by the third Breeze-M burn lasting 15 minutes and 30 seconds, Just after shut down the Breeze-M upper stage will jettison it’s Additional Propellent Tank (APT) before burning for a fourth time lasting just over 2 minutes. The fifth and final Breeze-M burn will occur 5 hours later and will last nearly 10 minutes. The Nimiq-6 satellite will then separate at 9 hours 14 minutes into the mission and will begin testing before becoming operational for Telesat and Canada.

Mission Videos

Mission Photos

Proton-M - Nimiq-6


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Rollout of the Proton-M with Nimiq-6 Spacecraft (Photo Credit: Khrunichev)
Rollout of the Proton-M with Nimiq-6 Spacecraft (Photo Credit: Khrunichev)

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Rollout of the Proton-M with Nimiq-6 Spacecraft (Photo Credit: Khrunichev)
Rollout of the Proton-M with Nimiq-6 Spacecraft (Photo Credit: Khrunichev)

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Rollout of the Proton-M with Nimiq-6 Spacecraft (Photo Credit: Khrunichev)
Rollout of the Proton-M with Nimiq-6 Spacecraft (Photo Credit: Khrunichev)

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Nimiq-6 inside payload fairing mated to Proton-M booster. (Photo Credit: Khrunichev)
Nimiq-6 inside payload fairing mated to Proton-M booster. (Photo Credit: Khrunichev)

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Nimiq-6 inside payload fairing mated to Proton-M booster. (Photo Credit: Khrunichev)
Nimiq-6 inside payload fairing mated to Proton-M booster. (Photo Credit: Khrunichev)

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Nimiq-6 inside payload fairing mated to Proton-M booster. (Photo Credit: Khrunichev)
Nimiq-6 inside payload fairing mated to Proton-M booster. (Photo Credit: Khrunichev)