Telkom-3 is an Indonesian communications satellite which was lost due to a launch failure on 6 August 2012. It was built by ISS Reshetnev for Indonesian telecommunications provider PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia. It was based on the Ekspress-1000 bus and had 32 C band transponders and 16 Ku band transponders. It was due to be located in geosynchronous orbit at 118° east above the equator.
|Mission duration||Launch failure|
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||6 August 2012, 19:31UTC|
|Launch site||Baikonur 81/24|
Medium Earth (achieved)
|Longitude||118° East (planned)|
Telkom-3 was launched along with Ekspress MD2 by a Proton-M rocket with Briz-M upper stage on 6 August 2012 at 19:31 UTC. The satellites were launched from Site 81/24 at Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The first three stages of the Proton launched worked as expected and the satellites were attached to the Briz-M upper stage which would transfer them into geosynchronous orbit. The Briz-M undertakes a series of four burns with coasting stages to do this. The third burn was due to be 18 minutes long but the engines cut out after 7 seconds, leaving the satellites in unusable orbits.
Telkom-3 manufacturer ISS Reshetnev announced that the satellite was under control with its solar panels extended but would not be able to be used for its intended purpose as it is in the wrong orbit.
This was the second launch failure caused by a Briz-M within twelve months as Ekspress-AM4 was lost in August 2011 due to a computer error. Other recent launch failures included three GLONASS satellites in 2011 and Mars probe Fobos-Grunt. All Proton-M launches were suspended and all Briz-M stages were recalled. This triggered discussion on the crisis in the Russian space industry with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev quoted as saying "We are losing authority and billions of rubles" due to the frequent launch failures. Medvedev chaired a meeting on the issue on 14 August 2012 and President Vladimir Putin had a meeting on organisational issues. One of the suggestions is that Roscosmos could be transformed into a corporation similar to Rosatom.
An investigation was set up by Roskosmos head Vladimir Popovkin and was headed by O.P. Skorobogatov from TsNIIMash. It was reported in early August by Russian newspaper Kommersant that the failure was caused by a fault in the fuel pipe in the Briz-M. The Khrunichev Failure Review Oversight Board found that it was caused by a faulty component in the pressurisation system.
On 16 October 2012 the Briz-M exploded into eighty pieces.
The director general of Khrunichev, Vladimir Nesterov, was dismissed from his post by President Vladimir Putin. The Proton-M returned to flight on 14 October, carrying Intelsat 23. It had been postponed from August due to the launch failure.
The replacement satellite, named Telkom-3S, was contract awarded to its satellite competitor, Thales Alenia Space on 28 July 2014. Telkom-3S was launched from the Guiana Space Centre on 14 February 2017 and commissioned into service on 17 April 2017.
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