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Proton Data

Josh Hopkins

Vehicle        |     Payload  kg  (lbs)   |  Reliability  | Price
(nation)       |  LEO      Polar    GEO   |               |

Proton                                 96/103  93.2%  in last 10 years
  Proton       20,000      ???     5,500                     $65m
              (44,100)           (12,200)

Proton is the heavy lift workhorse of the former Soviet launch stable. It is being marketed in the west by International Launch Services, a joint venture between Krunichev and Lockheed Martin. ILS also offers the Atlas. Russia is currently limited to offering prices within 7.5% of western prices and the number of GEO launches is limited to 8 before the year 2000. However, there is speculation that these restrictions may be abandoned as Russian launches become more commercialized. ILS has twelve western contracts for Proton launches, starting in 1996 with an Astra satellite for Societe Europeenne de Satellites of Luxembourg. Proton is also scheduled to play an important role in launching space station components. Krunichev plans to offer new upper stages for Proton, including the storable propellant Breeze-M upper stage in 1998 and the OHSM cryogenic stage a few years later. Proton will put 3.2 tons in GEO with Breeze-M and 4.5 tons with OHSM. Current GEO capability is about 2.6 tons with the Block D upper stage. In addition to these technical changes, ILS is considering conducting Proton launches from Cape Canaveral, or sites in Australia or Brazil. Launching closer to the equator would increase performance.

Download Proton Mission Planner's Guide in PDF format. Warning: 12 megabytes. BIG download!

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