ILS Unveils New 5 Meter Fairing for Proton

Proton on launch pad (Credit: ILS)

WASHINGTON, D.C, March 7, 2017 (ILS PR)—International Launch Services (ILS) announces the availability of a 5 meter diameter payload fairing (PLF) for use with both the Proton Breeze M and Proton Medium launch systems for commercial launch services beginning in first quarter of 2020. The 5 meter PLF addresses the increased volume of today’s larger satellites required to satisfy High-Throughput Satellite (HTS) broadband capacity demands, stacked satellite height requirements, and supports multiple satellites for efficient deployment of large LEO constellations.

Kirk Pysher, ILS President said, “The introduction of the 5 meter fairing is in direct response to our customers’ request for additional payload envelope capability to accommodate their evolving spacecraft designs. The 5 meter fairing in combination with optimized mission designs and the performance flexibility provided by the Proton M and Proton Medium launch vehicles, allows ILS to provide our customers with innovative, cost effective launch solutions that maximizes their satellites expected operational lifetime.”

“Khrunichev State Research and Production Center (Khrunichev) has successfully completed their planned 2016 feasibility study which focused on developing the required technologies and design needed to support the 5 meter PLF development. The next phase of the program has begun with the start of detailed design activities for a 5 meter PLF with a selected baseline length of 16.25 meters to envelope the projected commercial satellite market requirements while minimizing Proton vehicle impacts. The 5 meter PLF will undergo a rigorous test program including aerodynamic modeling, static and dynamic structural tests, PLF separation and jettison tests, and acoustic testing,” said Jim Kramer, Vice President of Engineering and Mission Assurance.

The Proton Breeze M vehicle is the heritage, 3-stage heavy-lift vehicle, with over 410 missions to date since 1965. The two-stage Proton Medium vehicle will serve the medium class satellite range starting in 2018. Both launch vehicles are manufactured by Khrunichev

  • JamesG

    I suppose that is an insulated cover and its not made of wrought iron?

  • Mr Snarky Answer

    Yes, but the new fairing is made from composite of recycled Stolichnaya vodka bottles.

  • Lee

    Damn. I was hoping it was made from the same material as Trabant car bodies.

  • passinglurker

    I’d like to thank the game jalopy for teaching me this reference XD

  • It’s interesting that it took Russia so long to get on the hammerhead fairing bandwagon – I’m thinking Fregat and Proton-M (I’m not counting small bumps for Soyuz and the like). They are certainly more complicated aerodynamically, but that never stopped them from doing Buran or Polyus. Granted, it really got going in the US with the use of lightweight propellants (put a Centaur on EVERYTHING! I’m looking at you Titan, Atlas and Delta). But for Russia, they do it for hypergolics. Hmmm…

  • Mr Snarky Answer

    Look how long it took them to put glass in the cockpit of Soyuz. The Russians are capable but woefully under funded and under ambitious these days. They lag behind in almost every area of rocket development (Some they’ve always lagged on): structures/materials, electronics/software/control, solid motors, cryogenic propulsion, simulation and testing, additive manufacturing. However, they are the kings of KEROLOX ORSC.

  • JamesG

    But yet… they are the only ones who can put people in space (because the Chinese are using copies of Russian tech). And we’ve killed far more astronauts trying. Perhaps we are too clever for our own good?

  • Mr Snarky Answer

    Well never changing anything has its advantages visa vi maintaining some capability no matter how limited it may be. And for the record astronauts are people but so are rocket techs. Care to see how those numbers stack up?

  • JamesG

    Rockets are dangerous critters.

  • Mr Snarky Answer

    Especially when a General is forcing your team to fix a leak on a fully loaded bird from his lawn chair.

  • JamesG

    That’s how Ivan rolls.

  • Paul Thomas

    They don’t seem to have much faith in the Angara series if they are extending the life of this 1960’s tech.

  • windbourne

    different companies make these. Right?

  • Paul Thomas

    No