Briz-M upper stage fails to take Yamal-402 satellite to final orbit

December 9, 2012 RBTH, Interfax

Yamal-402 satellite launched from Baikonur on Saturday was not placed in the planned orbit, a source in the aerospace industry told Interfax-AVN on Sunday.

"When the propulsion engine of Briz-M upper stage was fired for the fourth time, it operated for a shorter time than it was supposed to. Hence, the satellite was not placed in the required orbit," the source said.

Experts at the Khrunichev space center that manufactured Briz-M are analyzing the situation, he said.

"They are checking the time during which the engine of the upper stage operated and consequently to which altitude it took the satellite," the source said.

If the parameters of the satellite orbit differ greatly from the planned, the situation can be amended with the satellite's own engines, he said.

"There are 2 tonnes of fuel aboard meant for position adjustments and transfer from a transitional to a stationary orbit," the source said.

He said that the control center of Thales Alenia Space that manufactured Yamal-402 will be able to conduct the operation after a thorough study of the situation.

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