Proton-M Launch Reliability Enhancement Program Declared a Success

Proton launch (Credit: Roscosomos)

NUR SULTAN, Kazakhstan (Roscosmos PR) — Khrunichev Center delegation participated in the Space Days International Forum, which took place in Nur Sultan, Kazakhstan on November 12-13, 2019.

One of the forum aspects was the discussion of the Baikonur complex usage for international cooperation and developing new space technologies. Khrunichev Center Deputy Director General on International Economic Activity Andrey Pankratov spoke during the forum panel session on the ensuring reliability and ecological safety of Proton-M rocket complex while launching from Baikonur.

He noted that high demand for Proton in the Russian space program as well as in the international commercial launch services called for the modernization of the space complex to retain competitive level.

“To bring down the level of failed launches, improve ecological characteristics and increase rocket performance, Proton-M went through four deep modernizations. Under the management of Roscosmos, several corresponding programs were designed and are being implemented – including those for sustaining reliability of Proton-M carrier rocket and Briz-M booster. Khrunichev Center has also developed and has been implementing its own programs to improve quality and reliability of the products. Since the last failed launch in May 2015, 18 Proton-M successful launches have been performed,” reads the report.

Andrey Pankratov also said that introducing digital control systems, software and algorithms allowed cutting the level of environmental impact of Proton-M carrier rocket by half, compared to the Proton-K prototype. The results of environmental impact monitoring correspond to the calculated negative impact level set by Environmental impact assessment and confirmed by the environmental monitoring during the launches.

Concluding his report, Andrey Pankratov added that continuing Proton-M operation from Baikonur using the flight tracks with inclinations for perspective programs will preserve and effectively use the scientific and technological potential of Baikonur.

Proton-M operation at Baikonur was started in 1965 with 422 launches of various modifications performed so far. Proton-M carrier rocket equipped with Briz-M booster is the main configuration used for the Russian space program and international commercial payload launches.