Mission typeCommunication
OperatorPT Telkom[1]
COSPAR ID2012-044A[2]
SATCAT no.38744[2]
Mission durationLaunch failure
Spacecraft properties
ManufacturerISS Reshetnev
Start of mission
Launch date6 August 2012, 19:31 (2012-08-06UTC19:31Z) UTC
Launch siteBaikonur 81/24[3]
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric
RegimeGeostationary (planned)
Medium Earth (achieved)
Longitude118° 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 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]


Ground track of Telkom-3

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]

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 pressurisation 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]

The replacement satellite, named Telkom-3S, was contract awarded to its satellite competitor, Thales Alenia Space on 28 July 2014.[19] Telkom-3S was launched from the Guiana Space Centre on 14 February 2017[20] and commissioned into service on 17 April 2017.[21]


  1. ^ a b c d "Telkom-3". Gunter's Space Page. 2012. Retrieved 14 October 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d e "2012-044". 2012. Retrieved 14 October 2012.
  3. ^ McDowell, Jonathan. "Launch Log". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 14 October 2012.
  4. ^ a b "Russian Satellite Launch Failure Leads to Proton Launch Suspension". Space Safety Magazine. 8 August 2012. Retrieved 14 October 2012.
  5. ^ a b c d "Proton Launch Failure 2012 Aug 6". 20 August 2012. Archived from the original on 10 October 2012. Retrieved 15 October 2012.
  6. ^ "Работа со спутником TELKOM 3 на нерасчетной орбите" [Work with the satellite TELKOM-3 in an unplanned orbit] (in Russian). Reshetnev. 13 August 2012. Retrieved 15 October 2012.
  7. ^ "Medvedev to Name & Shame Failed Satellite Launch Officials". RIA Novosti. 9 August 2012. Retrieved 14 October 2012.
  8. ^ "Two satellites lost: Proton rocket launch fails to deliver". RT. 7 August 2012. Retrieved 14 October 2012.
  9. ^ "Medvedev says space failures cost Russia prestige and cash". Reuters. 9 August 2012. Retrieved 27 October 2012.
  10. ^ "Working meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin and Director of the Federal Space Agency Vladimir Popovkin". 31 August 2012. Retrieved 27 October 2012.
  11. ^ "Russia's Prime Minister Wants Space Agency Overhaul By September". 17 August 2012. Retrieved 27 October 2012.
  12. ^ "Russia Considering Roskosmos Transformation into State-Run Corporation". Satellite Today. 17 August 2012. Retrieved 27 October 2012.
  13. ^ "Fuel Pipe to Blame for Proton Launch Failure – Source". RIA Novosti. 9 August 2012. Retrieved 14 October 2012.
  14. ^ "Failure Review Oversight Board (FROB) Concludes Investigation on Russian Federal Telkom-3/ Express MD-2 Failure". Khrunichev. 12 September 2012. Retrieved 14 October 2012.
  15. ^ Zak, Anatoly (12 September 2012). "Telkom-3/Ekspress-MD2 launch failure". Russian Space Web. Retrieved 15 October 2012.
  16. ^ "SpaceTrack Data Points to Briz-M Explosion Date/Time". 25 August 2012. Archived from the original on 18 February 2013. Retrieved 27 October 2012.
  17. ^ "On Khrunichev CEO". Khrunichev. 6 September 2012. Retrieved 14 October 2012.
  18. ^ "Intelsat 23 on its Way to Orbit after successful Proton Launch". spaceflight101. 14 October 2012. Archived from the original on 12 February 2013. Retrieved 14 October 2012.
  19. ^ "Kontrak Thales Aleniaspace untuk Satelit Telkom 3S Capai US$ 119,7 juta". IndoTelko. Retrieved 27 September 2017.
  20. ^ "Arianespace orbits two digital HDTV satellites, SKY Brasil-1 and Telkom 3S, on Ariane 5's 77th successful launch in a row".
  21. ^ Wijaya, Yulius. "Peresmian Pengoperasian Satelit Telkom 3S (in Indonesian)". (in Indonesian). Antara News.