Russia attempts to correct Yamal satellite orbit
MOSCOW, Dec 10, 2012 (Xinhua via COMTEX) --
Emergency measures had been used to
move Russian telecommunications satellite Yamal-402 closer to its
designated orbit, Russian federal space agency Roscosmos said
Russian Mission Control Center had to pull the satellite to the
designated orbit using Yamal's own engine after the Briz-M booster
rocket that was carrying it failed during the final acceleration.
"At about 2:00 Moscow time (2200 GMT Sunday), the first
switch-on of the Yamal-402 engines was made. According to the
ballistics experts, the satellite has received a necessary
impulse," Interfax news agency quoted Roscosmos spokesman Alexei
Kuznetsov as saying.
The satellite, belonging to the Russian Gazprom Space Systems
company, failed to reach the designated orbit on Dec. 9 due to the
Briz-M booster stopping early. The booster later exploded due to
overheating of its fuel tank.
Roscosmos said the need to expend the Yamal-402'a fuel to
correct its orbit will shorten its service life.
Yamal-402, produced by French company Thales Alenia Space,
would become operational on Jan. 8, and all its systems were
working properly, Roscosmos said.
Yamal is equipped with 46 Ku-band transponders providing
coverage over most of Russia, the Commonwealth of Independent
States, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
In August, a Briz-M booster failed to put two satellites in
orbit. Investigations found the failure was caused by a clogging
of the booster's fuel pipes.
It led to the resignation of top managers at the Khrunichev
State Research and Production Space Center, which designs and
builds the booster.
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