Inmarsat-5 F2 – ready for lift-off

29 January 2015: With just two days to lift-off, the Proton Breeze-M launch vehicle stands vertical, ready to carry the Inmarsat-5 F2 satellite into orbit.


The huge launch vehicle, with the upper stage loaded with nearly 20 metric tonnes of propellants, was transported to Pad 39 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan  on 29 January at 06:30 ALMT. As for every single launch, the rollout out occurs at the same time that Yuri Gagarin, the first cosmonaut, rolled out for the Buran shuttle launch in 1961.

Full propellant loading up to 652 metric tonnes will be conducted in the run-up to the launch on 1 February at 12:31 GMT.

Launch countdown

In a careful operation, the 58.2-metre (191ft) high rocket – which has the satellite safely encapsulated in its payload fairing – was raised from horizontal into the firing position.

The launch pad’s Mobile Service Tower was then positioned alongside the rocket, and the fuel, umbilical power and communication lines connected up and tested.

A launch countdown rehearsal is now taking place in preparation for lift-off.

Make sure you watch all the action from on a live webcast on here from 12:15 GMT on the day.