Telkom Satellite Is Feared Lost Using Russian Launcher Company For The First Time

Posted on Aug 14, 2012

PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia Tbk (Telkom) is still awaiting confirmation from the Russian company, Retchesnev, regarding the fate of its Telkom-3 satellite which was reported missing several hours before reaching orbit due to a failure in the Briz-M stage.

“We got the information about the launch failure of the Telkom-3 satellite, which was caused by a malfunction of the Briz-M rocket. Currently, we are waiting for official confirmation from the ISS Retchesnev Russia,” said Head of Corporate Communication and Affairs (HCCA) Telkom, Slamet Riyadi, in Jakarta, Tuesday (08/07/2012).

As the information from Retchesnev was not complete, Telkom is still unsure regarding the fate of its satellites. So are the consequences if the satellite is completely lost. “We also do not know exactly why, we’d better wait for (the complete) information from the launching company” he added.

One of Telkom employee, Rizkan Chandra which is currently Director / SEVP, Network and Solution in Telkom is also at the launch place as Chief of Mission for the Telkom-3 satellite launch in Russia.

The Telkom-3 satellite owned by Telkom was launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan on Monday (08/06/2012) Russia’s time. The satellite was reported missing several hours before reaching orbit due to failure in the Briz-M stage.

Proton booster that launched Telkom 3 satellite

The NASAspaceflight.com says that the Telkom-3 satellite was launched along with the Express-MD2 satellites using Proton-M booster rocket. The site also mentioned The Briz-M Breeze-M upper stage was the Phase III variant, a recent upgrade which utilizes two new high-pressure tanks (80 liters) to replace six smaller tanks, along with the relocation of command instruments towards the centre – in order to mitigate shock loads when the additional propellant tank is being jettisoned.

A Russian Space Agency Roscosmos released a statement, around the time spacecraft separation confirmation was due, noting both satellites did not make it to the transfer orbit, citing a problem with one of the Briz-M burns.

A Russian media report, via RIA Novosti, then confirmed both satellites are considered lost, adding to the Briz-M’s failure history that includes the loss of the Ekspress-AM4 satellite last year, although it did enjoy 12 nominal missions since that loss.

According to records, Telkom-3 satellite launch was delayed several times. The original launch which was originally scheduled for mid-2011 moved back to the end of 2012. The schedule then changed to early June 2012 and finally launched on August 7, 2012.

Telkom-3 satellite was built with an investment of about USD 200 million by ISS-Reshetnev with its communication equipment made by Thales Aleniaspace. The satellite was to be launched with the satellite Yamal-300K. While the satellite Express-MD2 was with satellites Express- AM8.

For Telkom, this is the first satellite launched in cooperation with the Russian satellite company, Retshesnev, as the previously Telkom-2 satellite using an Ariane-5 rocket launcher was owned by a French company, Arianespace, in November 2005 in Kouroue, Guyana, French.

Telkom-3 satellite has a transponder capacity of 42 (equivalent to 49 transponders @ 36MHz), consisting of 24 transponders @ 36MHz Standard C-band, transponder 8 Ext @ 54 MHz, C-band, and 4 @ 36 MHz transponder, transponder 6 @ 54 MHz Ku-Band.

Of the 42 transponders Telkom-3 satellite, as much as 40-45 percent, or about 20 transponders will be commercialized, while the rest is to add capacity throughout the Telkom Group’s services.

The geographical coverage of Telkom-3 satellite includes the Standard C-band (Indonesia and ASEAN), Ext C-band (Indonesia and Malaysia), and Ku-Band (Indonesia).

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