Encyclopedia Astronautica
Gals



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Gals
Credit: USAF Phillips Laboratory
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Gals
Credit: NPO PM
Russian communications satellite. 2 launches, 1994.01.20 (Gals) and 1995.11.17 (Gals-2). Direct broadcasting satellite (new generation of satellites) intended for development of the Russian television system and international cooperation.

The year 1994 marked the long awaited debut of the first of the next-generation Russian geosynchronous communications satellites. The spacecraft, designed and built by the Applied Mechanics NPO, utilized a new, modernized MSS-2500 class bus with greater electrical power, higher precision station-keeping capabilities (including north-south station-keeping), and longer life. The first of these spacecraft to appear was Gals 1 on 20 January 1994, followed by Express 1 on 13 October. Both employed the MSS-2500-GSO-01 spacecraft bus. Two other models (MSS-2500-GSO-02 and MSS-2500-GSO) were still under development.

The Gals television broadcasting satellite, originally expected to be launched by December, 1990, was designed to support a variety of direct broadcast customers, including professional broadcasting firms (having antenna 2.5 m in diameter), community associations (receiving antenna 1.5 m), and individuals (receiving antenna 0.6-0.9 m). The 2500-kg spacecraft with a payload mass of 420 kg originally were scheduled for deployments at two locations: 230 E with three spacecraft and 44 degrees E with two spacecraft. Later, positions degrees 74 degrees E, 110 degrees E, and 140 degrees E were added. The planned constellation was later altered to consist of spacecraft at 36 degrees E, 56 degrees E, 86 degrees E, 110 degrees E, and 140 degrees E. Two solar arrays with a total power of 2.4 kW supported three Ku-band transponders (one 40 W and two 80 W). The spacecraft bus measured 4.1 m by 6.6 m with a 21-m span across the solar arrays. The design lifetime was 5-7 years. Like most Russian geosynchronous spacecraft, Gals 1 was inserted into the geosynchronous ring near 90 degrees E. A western drift was assigned to permit the vehicle to reach 44 degrees E by early February, 1994. After checkout during which problems were detected with one of the three transponders, Gals 1 was unexpectedly transferred to 71 degrees E in May-June to service, not the Russian Federation, but the PRC and Taiwan. Gals 1 remained at 71 degrees E for the remainder of 1994.

Gals 1 also signaled the first civilian control of a major applications spacecraft. The new Main Control Center at Krasnoyarsk in Siberia of the Applied Mechanics NPO), rather than the military satellite control facility at Golitsino-2, was in charge of Gals l's day-to-day operations. Gals 1 further tested the Russian SPT-100 ion thruster created by the Fakel Bureau. This evaluation program was conducted in conjunction with France's SEP firm and U.S.'s Loral Space Systems Company.

Three modifications of Gals were envisioned. Gals-R would add a fourth transponder and permit zonal (broad area) television broadcasting. The Gals-R6 and Gals-R12 variants would carry 6 and 12 transponders, respectively. The first launch of a Gals-R vehicle was tentatively set for 1996. Two Gals-R class spacecraft were reportedly been ordered by a Chinese company for launches beginning in 1998.

However all of these plans came to nothing and the two Gals launched in 1994-1995 remained the only examples.

AKA: 17F71.
Gross mass: 2,500 kg (5,500 lb).
First Launch: 1994.01.20.
Last Launch: 1995.11.17.
Number: 2 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • Proton The Proton launch vehicle has been the medium-lift workhorse of the Soviet and Russian space programs for over forty years. Although constantly criticized within Russia for its use of toxic and ecologically-damaging storable liquid propellants, it has out-lasted all challengers, and no replacement is in sight. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Proton The Proton launch vehicle has been the medium-lift workhorse of the Soviet and Russian space programs for over forty years. Although constantly criticized within Russia for its use of toxic and ecologically-damaging storable liquid propellants, it has out-lasted all challengers, and no replacement is in sight. Development of the Proton began in 1962 as a two-stage vehicle that could be used to launch large military payloads or act as a ballistic missile with a 100 megaton nuclear warhead. The ICBM was cancelled in 1965, but development of a three-stage version for the crash program to send a Soviet man around the moon began in 1964. The hurried development caused severe reliability problems in early production. But these were eventually solved, and from the 1970's the Proton was used to launch all Russian space stations, medium- and geosynchronous orbit satellites, and lunar and planetary probes. More...
  • Proton-K/DM-2 Russian orbital launch vehicle. This improved four stage version uses the Block DM-2 / 11S861 fourth stage, which has its own guidance unit. This reduces payload but does not require the spacecraft's guidance system to provide steering commands to booster. Replaced the original Block DM / 11S86 version from 1982 to 1995. Used for launch of Glonass navigation satellites into medium earth orbit; and launch of Luch, Ekran-M, Potok, Raduga, Gorizont, Raduga-1, Elektro, and Gals communications satellites into geosynchronous orbit. Commercial version with Saab payload adapter-seperation system for Western payloads was dubbed 'Block DM1'. More...
  • Proton-K/DM-2M This four stage version uses the Block DM-2M / 11S861-01 upper stage, which has its own self-contained guidance unit. This reduces payload but does not require the spacecraft's guidance system to provide steering commands to booster. Used for launches of Russian geosynchronous satellites from 1994 on. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • MOM Russian agency overseeing development of spacecraft. Ministry of General Machine Building (Moskva, Russia), Moscow, Russia. More...
  • Reshetnev Russian manufacturer of rockets and spacecraft. Reshetnev Design Bureau, Krasnoyarsk-26/Zhelenogorsk, Russia. More...

Bibliography
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Home Page (launch records), Harvard University, 1997-present. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • JPL Mission and Spacecraft Library, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 1997. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Kaesmann, Ferdinand, et. al., "Proton - Development of A Russian Launch Vehicle", Journal of the British Interplanetary Society, 1998, Volume 51, page 3.
  • Voevodin, Sergey A, "Sergey A. Voevodin's Reports", VSA072 - Space Apparatus, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Vladimirov, A, "Tablitsa zapuskov RN 'Proton' i 'Proton K'", Novosti kosmonavtiki, 1998, Issue 10, page 25.

Associated Launch Sites
  • Baikonur Russia's largest cosmodrome, the only one used for manned launches and with facilities for the larger Proton, N1, and Energia launch vehicles. The spaceport ended up on foreign soil after the break-up of Soviet Union. The official designations NIIP-5 and GIK-5 are used in official Soviet histories. It was also universally referred to as Tyuratam by both Soviet military staff and engineers, and the US intelligence agencies. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union the Russian Federation has insisted on continued use of the old Soviet 'public' name of Baikonur. In its Kazakh (Kazak) version this is rendered Baykonur. More...

Gals Chronology


1994 January 20 - . 09:49 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC81/23. LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton-K/DM-2M. LV Configuration: Proton-K/DM-2M 358-02.
  • Gals - . Payload: Gals s/n 11L. Mass: 2,500 kg (5,500 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: Gals . USAF Sat Cat: 22963 . COSPAR: 1994-002A. Apogee: 36,121 km (22,444 mi). Perigee: 36,121 km (22,444 mi). Inclination: 0.1000 deg. Period: 1,453.00 min. Direct broadcasting satellite (new generation of satellites) intended for development of the Russian television system and international cooperation. Also tested SPT-100 plasma engine. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 71 deg E in 1994-1996; 36 deg E in 1996-1999; 42 deg E in 2000. As of 5 September 2001 located at 37.30 deg E drifting at 0.121 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 10 located at 67.44E drifting at 0.298E degrees per day.

1995 November 17 - . 14:25 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC200/39. LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton-K/DM-2. LV Configuration: Proton-K/DM-2 384-01.
  • Gals-2 - . Payload: Gals s/n 12L. Mass: 2,500 kg (5,500 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: Gals . USAF Sat Cat: 23717 . COSPAR: 1995-063A. Apogee: 35,788 km (22,237 mi). Perigee: 35,784 km (22,235 mi). Inclination: 0.2000 deg. Period: 1,436.00 min. Three transponders for direct broadcast television. Stationed at 70 deg E. Used SPT-100 plasma engine. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 71 deg E in 1995-1996; 36 deg E in 1996-1999 As of 5 September 2001 located at 36.88 deg E drifting at 0.031 deg E per day. As of 2007 Mar 10 located at 62.06E drifting at 1.427W degrees per day.

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