YahSat’s second satellite (Y1-B) was successfully launched late last evening (at 22.18 GMT, or 04.18am local time April 24) from Russia’s Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The event was organised via International Launch Services (ILS) which used the giant 58.2m Proton rocket plus its Breeze-M upper stage to place the Thales-Alenia Eurostar E3000 satellite into orbit for its Abu Dhabi-based owners, Al Yah Satellite Communications.
YahSat 1-B has been waiting for some time for launch. Originally scheduled for the end of last year, and then re-scheduled for February.
Proton uses an extremely long launch process with 5 distinct firings of its engines. The first three stages of the Proton occur soon after launch and used a standard ascent profile to place the orbital unit (Breeze M upper stage plus the Y1B satellite) into a sub-orbital trajectory. From this point in the mission, the Breeze M will perform planned mission manoeuvres 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. Separation of the Y1B satellite is scheduled to occur approximately 9 hours, 12 minutes after liftoff.
Y1-B is the third ILS/Proton to be launched this year. The satellite will add Ka-band multi-beam capacity alongside its sister craft launched almost exactly a year ago, and already working from 52.5 degrees East.