[FPSPACE] FREGAT made up for booster weakness on Aug 9

JamesOberg@aol.com JamesOberg@aol.com
Tue, 22 Aug 2000 09:04:56 EDT


   NEW RUSSIAN THRUSTER HELPS SAVE EUROPEAN SATELLITES
     MOSCOW. AUG 21 (INTERFAX) - THE FREGAT THRUSTER UNIT, DEVELOPED
BY RUSSIA'S NPO LAVOCHKIN SCIENTIFIC PRODUCTION ASSOCIATION, HAS
HELPED SAVE TWO EUROPEAN CLUSTER-2 SATELLITES, WHICH WERE LAUNCHED
INTO SPACE FROM KAZAKHSTAN'S BAIKONUR LAUNCH CENTER ON AUGUST 9,
THE HEAD OF THE ASSOCIATION SAID.
     THE ENGINES OF THE THIRD STAGE OF THE SOYUZ-U CARRIER ROCKET
FAILED TO PROVIDE SUFFICIENT ACCELERATION FOR THE LINKED THRUSTER
AND SATELLITES TO PUT THE LATTER IN THEIR INTERMEDIATE ORBIT,
STANISLAV KULIKOV SAID.
     A COMMISSION IS NOW LOOKING INTO THE REASONS FOR THIS FAILURE.
ONE THEORY IS THAT THERE WAS NOT ENOUGH FUEL IN THE TANKS OF THE
THIRD STAGE OF THE ROCKET.
     KULIKOV SAID THAT THE NPO LAVOCHKIN L THRUSTER THAT WAS EARLIER
USED ON SOYUZ ROCKETS WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN ABLE TO CORRECT THE SPEED
BECAUSE IT COULD ONLY BE TURN ON ONCE. THE SATELLITES, ORBITING AT
TOO LOW A TRAJECTORY, WOULD HAVE IN THAT CASE FALLEN TO EARTH OR
BURNED UP IN THE ATMOSPHERE.
     THE FREGAT'S ENGINES CAN BE TURNED ON REPEATEDLY, AND ITS
ONBOARD EQUIPMENT CONSTANTLY TRACKS THE NAVIGATIONAL FLIGHT
PARAMETERS AND AUTOMATICALLY CORRECTS ANY MISTAKES.
     IN THIS CASE, WHEN THE SATELLITES WERE BEING PUT INTO THEIR
INTERMEDIATE ORBIT THE FREGAT TURNED ON ITS ENGINES ONCE TO CORRECT
THE INCLINATION OF THE ORBIT. THE ENGINES WERE THAN TURNED ON A
SECOND TIME AND WORKED UNTIL ALL THE FUEL WAS BURNED UP TO PUT THE
SATELLITES IN THE REQUIRED ORBIT.
     THE FREGAT IS A NEW THRUSTER UNIT THAT IS FITTED ONTO THE
CARRIER ROCKET IN ORDER TO MOVE FROM THE INTERMEDIATE ORBIT
PROVIDED BY THE ROCKET TO A HIGH ELLIPTICAL, GEOSTATIONARY OR
SOLAR-SYNCHRONOUS ORBIT.