The Proton M booster with the Breeze M upper stage that was launched on April 19, 2018, at 01:12 am Moscow time from the Baikonur Cosmodrome has successfully delivered a Russian military payload into orbit.
This was the first launch in 2018 and the 417th launch overall of the Proton launch vehicle (including all its modifications starting in 1965).
The Proton launch vehicle and the Breeze M upper stage were developed and are manufactured at the Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center, a part of the Roscosmos State Corporation.
The Proton M launch vehicle is an enhanced variant of the Proton heavy-lift booster incorporating improved operational, performance and environmental characteristics. The Proton M launch vehicle in combination with the Breeze M upper stage is capable of delivering payloads weighing over 6 metric tons into geostationary transfer orbit.
Currently, the Proton M launch vehicle with the Breeze M upper stage is Russia’s main heavy-lift workhorse to launch unmanned spacecraft into near-earth orbits as well as escape trajectories in support of federal and commercial missions.
Russia’s orbital satellite constellations that provide communications services across Russian regions – GLONASS and EXPRESS – are replenished and deployed with the help of the Proton M launch vehicle. The Proton launch vehicle is also used to deliver space modules to the Russian segment of the ISS. The maiden launch of the Proton M launch vehicle with the Breeze M upper stage was used to inject a commercial payload (Nimiq 2) back in early 2002. Since then more than 70 commercial spacecraft have been delivered into orbit with the help of the Proton M launch vehicle.
Source: International Launch Services
Date: Apr 19, 2018