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Mission type Communication
Operator PT Telkom[1]
COSPAR ID 2012-044A[2]
SATCAT № 38744[2]
Mission duration Launch failure
Spacecraft properties
Bus Ekspress-1000[1]
Manufacturer ISS Reshetnev
Start of mission
Launch date 6 August 2012, 19:31 (2012-08-06UTC19:31Z) UTC
Rocket Proton-M/Briz-M
Launch site Baikonur 81/24[3]
Orbital parameters
Reference system Geocentric
Regime Geostationary (planned)
Medium Earth (achieved)
Longitude 118° East (planned)[2]

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.[1][2]


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 in order 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.[2][4][5]

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.[6]


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.[5] 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.[4][7][8][9][10][11][12]

File:Putin, Rogozin, Popovkin august 2012.jpeg
Russian president Vladimir Putin with Roscosmos head Vladimir Popovkin (right) and Dmitry Rogozin (left) in a meeting on problems in the space industry, August 2012

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 pressurization system.[5][13][14][15]

On 16 October 2012 the Briz-M exploded into eighty pieces.[16]

The director general of Khrunichev, Vladimir Nesterov, was dismissed from his post by President Vladimir Putin.[17] The Proton-M returned to flight on 14 October, carrying Intelsat 23. It had been postponed from August due to the launch failure.[5][18]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "Telkom-3". Gunter's Space Page. 2012. Retrieved 2012-10-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 "2012-044". 2012. Retrieved 2012-10-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. McDowell, Jonathan. "Launch Log". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 14 October 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Russian Satellite Launch Failure Leads to Proton Launch Suspension". Space Safety Magazine. 2012-08-08. Retrieved 2012-10-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 "Proton Launch Failure 2012 Aug 6". 2012-08-20. Retrieved 2012-10-15.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Работа со спутником TELKOM 3 на нерасчетной орбите" (in Russian). Reshetnev. 2012-08-13. Retrieved 2012-10-15. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help)CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Medvedev to Name & Shame Failed Satellite Launch Officials". RIA Novosti. 2012-08-09. Retrieved 2012-10-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Two satellites lost: Proton rocket launch fails to deliver". RT. 2012-08-07. Retrieved 2012-10-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "Medvedev says space failures cost Russia prestige and cash". Reuters. 2012-08-09. Retrieved 2012-10-27.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "Working meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin and Director of the Federal Space Agency Vladimir Popovkin". 2012-08-31. Retrieved 2012-10-27.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "Russia's Prime Minister Wants Space Agency Overhaul By September". 2012-08-17. Retrieved 2012-10-27.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "Russia Considering Roskosmos Transformation into State-Run Corporation". Satellite Today. 2012-08-17. Retrieved 2012-10-27.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "Fuel Pipe to Blame for Proton Launch Failure - Source". RIA Novosti. 2012-08-09. Retrieved 2012-10-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "Failure Review Oversight Board (FROB) Concludes Investigation on Russian Federal Telkom-3/ Express MD-2 Failure". Khrunichev. 2012-09-12. Retrieved 2012-10-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. Zak, Anatoly (2012-09-12). "Telkom-3/Ekspress-MD2 launch failure". Russian Space Web. Retrieved 2012-10-15.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. "SpaceTrack Data Points to Briz-M Explosion Date/Time". 2012-08-25. Retrieved 2012-10-27.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. "On Khrunichev CEO". Khrunichev. 2012-09-06. Retrieved 2012-10-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. "Intelsat 23 on its Way to Orbit after successful Proton Launch". spaceflight101. 2012-10-14. Retrieved 2012-10-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>