The Rockot launch vehicle's upper composite which comprises of the Breeze upper stage and payload fairing, has been adapted and optimised for the commercial LEO market by Eurockot. It offers flexibility in payload accommodation schemes by offering a large usable volume and stiff interface plane. This is useful for a wide variety of customers including multiple payloads and tall and heavy spacecraft. This configuration, the KM version, which was introduced by Eurockot, has now flown successfully in a wide variety of mission scenarios.
Breeze KM Upper Stage
The Breeze upper stage which in its various configurations equips both the Proton M and Rockot launch vehicles has flown over a dozen times successfully, providing a solid basis for success in the future.
The Breeze KM configuration offered by Eurockot is primarily derived from the earlier Rockot flown Breeze K version. It incorporates only minor structural changes versus the Breeze K version and was introduced to provide a stiffer interface plane for adequate structural rigidity for large satellites such as those flown recently by Eurockot.
This modern upper stage with its re-ignitable main engine allows implementation of various payload injection schemes. This permits injection of payloads into different altitudes and inclinations in one launch either releasing the spacecraft successively or simultaneously. It can perform complex manoeuvres such as pre-programmed thermal barbeque manoeuvres and separation at pre-defined attitudes. Furthermore Breeze is equipped with low thrust vernier engines which allow for fine tuning of the final orbit hence providing for excellent injection accuracy.
These capabilities have been demonstrated and fully exercised during Eurockot's previous missions which have shown high injection accuracy.
Due to the unique layout of the satellite to launcher interface plane which takes the form of a flat rigid plate with many fixation points, a wide variety of different payload configurations can be realised. These can range from the classic single satellite accommodation on a conical payload adapter to the fixation of multiple payloads on different parts of this interface. Furthermore customised payload dispensers and adapters can be easily accommodated on this interface without problem.
The fairing is a two half-shell honeycomb structure of carbon fibre/ aluminium with a longitudinal type separation system. Each half of the composite is composed of a cylindrical and bi-conic section. Fairing separation is obtained by pyrotechnical means along the vertical separation plane and at the base of the fairing. The unlocked fairing half shells then rotate around hinge points located at the bottom, assisted by springs, and move away.