Talk:Proton (rocket family)

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Please somebody correct the performance figures, they are a full two metric tons below what they should be. The latest version of the rocket (Phase III) can lift 6150+ kilograms to GTO instead of 4140 as claimed. Naturally some satellites don't weight as much. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:11, 5 June 2013 (UTC)


The following lines:

"They are stored at ambient temperatures avoiding the need for low-temperature-tolerant components and also allowing the rocket to sit on the pad indefinitely without need for continuous topping up of boiling off cryogenic fuels." understandable, but what happens when the rocket reaches the altitude where there is no oxygen needed for burning process and thrust anymore? Then liquid oxygen must be poured to engine nozzles to keep the burning process and thrust active which still requires a cooling system even when still on launch pad. So, what does the Proton use when it reaches the "no-oxygen" altitude (if the article says there are no low-temperature-tolerant components needed)?? Is there maby enough oxygen released during the chemical reaction between two components itself?

There's no such thing as the "no-oxygen" altitude. The point of a rocket engine is that it brings its own oxidizer, nitrogen tetroxide in this case. Nitrogen tetroxide is a liquid at room temperature. The other commonly used oxidizers are liquid oxygen (which needs to be kept cold) and ammonium perchlorate (for solid rockets). -- Sam, 29 July 2005


The porton rocket in the picture doesn't really look like being from NASA.

It is from NASA [1]. There were many NASA people including Dan Goldin at the Baikonur Cosmodrome attending Zvezda launch (which is pictured). --Bricktop 15:26, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

First launch[edit]

Was it first launched in 1967 or 1965? The article says 1965 but the infobox says 1967.

Zippanova 15:16, 8 September 2006 (UTC)
Both! The maiden flight of the Proton 8K82, the first version of the UR series rocket to be named "Proton", was on 16/07/65. The uprated Proton 8K82K, as described by the infobox, first flew on 10/04/67. --GW_SimulationsUser Page | Talk 18:10, 8 September 2006 (UTC) 13:26, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
It's confusing that the data in the infobox is about a specific detail compared to the main article. A lot of people who view this page might get confused by this (I was)!


Under the section 8K82K, the article says:

Note that the six structures around the base of the vehicle .... the core is the oxidizer tank, and the six units are outrigger fuel tanks.

but later contradicts the statement that the fuel tanks are outside the body with:

(the Titan rockets avoided this by having its fuel and oxidizer tanks located in the body itself, thus the Titan II and III rockets can be flown with or without solid boosters).

(GoAirForce 16:41, 25 May 2007 (UTC))

This section seemed to be a bit confusing. I've reworded it in an attempt to clarify the comparison between the Proton design, which cannot have solid boosters because of the Proton's external fuel tanks, with the Titan design which can have solid boosters. (Sdsds - Talk) 19:52, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

Your clarification helped. I think I understand this now, but it's after several re-reads, it could probably still be improved. (GoAirForce 19:44, 27 May 2007 (UTC))

it is indeed a unique design, allow for a relativity short 1st stage height while the tanks remains within the diameter size that could be transported by rail. imo, the prime problem of the russian space center is the lack of sea access, limiting the diameter of it's rocket design. the chinese are expected to build a new space center on the coast similiar to US and european center, and allow them to use similiar large diameter rocket that are transported to the site by sea. Akinkhoo (talk) 15:11, 18 January 2008 (UTC)

Heavy materials and particle detectors?[edit]

I just removed this from paragraph 2:

The enormous capacity of the new rocket allowed the heavy materials used in particle detectors. Thus the Proton satellites were pioneers of high-energy astronomy.

This is garbled. If anyone knows what it means, please rewrite before reintroducing into the article. Tempshill 03:12, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

   Proton rockets takes their name from proton satellites, which were their first payload. Those satellites were made for scientific investigation of the space enviroment, so they had particle detectors for their research. Thos particle detectors were made with heavy materials, so the weight of the satellites was too high for the available rockets before proton.  —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:42, 29 December 2009 (UTC) 

Wrong Number Failures[edit]

In arrticle:

Total launches 329

Successes 289

Failures 40

Failures = 12% ???? Wrong Number. Nasa tall: Successes 96% ???????.

In this web, 10 launches is failure, add one in 2007:

Total: 327 (last: 5 Sep 07); Failure: 11;

List All Failure:

24 Mar 66; 9 Aug 90; 27 May 93; 19 Feb 96; 16 Nov 96; 24 Dec 97; 5 Jul 99; 27 Oct 99; 5 Sep 07

Huyphuc1981 nb (talk) 07:56, 25 November 2007 (UTC)

Your figures are wrong. What about failures occuring on:
  • 8 April 1967
  • 27 September 1967
  • 22 November 1967
  • 22 April 1968
  • 20 January 1969
  • 19 February 1969
  • 27 March 1969
  • 2 April 1969
  • 14 June 1969
  • 23 September 1969
  • 22 October 1969
  • 28 November 1969
  • 6 February 1970
  • 10 May 1971
  • 29 July 1971
  • 16 October 1975
  • 4 August 1977
  • 27 May 1978
  • 17 August 1878
  • 17 October 1978
  • 19 December 1978 (Partial Failure)
  • 22 July 1982
  • 24 December 1982
  • 25 November 2002
These are just the ones currently in the List of Proton launches, which is not complete yet. There are more. --GW_SimulationsUser Page | Talk 10:06, 25 November 2007 (UTC)
You are wrong.
My figures are List All Failure by rocket. You calculate failure of merchantdise.
some examples, uper stage is fail or voyage is wrong, but main rocket (Proton) succees.
20 Jan 1969 Zond test (in Luna program)
19 Feb 1969 Luna
27 March 1969 Mars probe
2 Apr 1969 Mars
14 Jun 1969 Luna
23 Sep 1969 Kosmos 300 (Luna)
22 Oct 1969 Kosmos 305 (Luna)
28 Nov 1969 Kosmos / L-1e No1 test (in Luna program)
6 Feb 1970 Luna
10 May 1971 Kosmos 419 (Mars)
29 July 1971. i don't know ???? No Proton rocket launch in this day.
28 July 1971 at 3h36 UTC, from Plesetsk Cosmodrome's LC 43/4, by an A-2-e/"Molniya" (8K78M).
30 July 1971 at 8h38 UTC, from Baykonur Cosmodrome's LC-31, by an A-2/"Voskhod" (11A57).
16 Oct 75 Luna
4 August 1977, Rocket and spaceship burn when they have not run. Spacecraft ejected by launch escape system.

..... Huyphuc1981 nb (talk) 16:16, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

The upper stage constitutes part of the whole launch system. I am not familiar with the website which you are quoting, but the Encyclopedia Astronautica ( is generally considered to be the definative resource, and it agrees with me. --GW_SimulationsUser Page | Talk 20:18, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
 ??????? example
some examples, uper stage is fail or voyage is wrong, but main rocket (Proton) succees.
20 Jan 1969 Zond test (in Luna program), Luna 1969-test error
19 Feb 1969 Luna  ???? Luna 1969-1 error, You calculate failure of Proton ????
27 March 1969 Mars probe
Huyphuc1981 nb (talk) 17:31, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
I don't understand. --GW_SimulationsUser Page | Talk 17:48, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

GLONASS vehicle[edit]

Regarding the 2007-12-25 launch, Khrunichev says, "The mission is the launch of Proton M rocket /Block DM upper stage with three GLONASS M satellites for Russian Global Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS)." No mention of a Breeze stage. Is this accurate? (sdsds - talk) 03:59, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

Yes, The Blok-DM is being used instead of the Briz-M. The Proton-K is out of production, and all remaining rockets are assigned, so the Proton-M is being used for this launch. The Blok-DM stage is presumably still in production (or has a larger stockpile) so is being used as the upper stage. Briz-M would be overkill. --GW_SimulationsUser Page | Talk 07:59, 20 December 2007 (UTC)


The section says that payload to GSO is about 3 tonnes (I assume these are metric tonnes), and payload to GTO is about 5.5 tonnes. How come that Proton has been routinely injecting 6-tonne payloads to GSO? I am not sure about older launches, but the latest one just put the 6-tonne Inmarsat 4 into a GSO. Here is the flight plan (pdf): From the flight plan and ILS blog it is obvious that it was Proton/Breeze that injected the satellite, the satellite did not use its own engines (if it has them) for that.

Also, should not all numbers that quote payloads specify launch site? I don't know whether Proton is being launched from other sites besides Baikonur, but in any case, the payload mass is limited not only by structural rigidity of the rocket and power of its engines, but by location as well. A much smaller Zenit rocket injects 6-tonne satellites from equatorial Sea Launch site. Mikus (talk) 02:19, 20 August 2008 (UTC)

_______ —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:36, 30 April 2009 (UTC)

"Proton initially started life as a "super ICBM." It was designed to throw a 10-Megaton (or larger) nuclear warhead over a distance of 13,000 km."

100 megaton. 10-25 megaton it R-36

Bullshit claim in the article[edit]

> Proton ... would very likely have launched the first humans to circle the Moon <

Proton was never human-rated! Its fuel is so toxic, the communist party central comittee banned its use for human lunar flight, even after the soviet astronauts staged a street demonstration in Star City to demand a totally crazy dual-Proton "crush launch" with in-flight EVA to beat the americans around and onto the Moon!

Spontaneous street protest was highly unusual in the USSR, yet the top brass still shunned the Proton rocket, because they knew the cosmonauts would come back very ill from the toxic fuel, even if they managed to evade death and they would not be in a suitable shape for public celebrations display and pre-arranged festives so essential to communism. All in all, Proton is a strictly thing-launcher and has never been a being-launcher, not even on the drawing table! (talk) 21:32, 7 September 2009 (UTC)

  • It was only Korolev who objected to that fuel combination for manned flights. The same fuel combination is used on the Chinese Long March 2F rocket (used for three Shenzhou launches to date), and a very similar one was used on the US Titan II rocket which launched ten manned Gemini flights. N2O4/UDMH has also been used as attitude control propellent on many manned spacecraft, with only one case of a crew becoming ill as a result. --GW 22:09, 7 September 2009 (UTC)

"Proton was never human-rated! Its fuel is so toxic"

spaceship hermetically

According to everything we know about Soviet space program, Proton was meant for manned flights, just like N-1 was. Thus, on Wikipedia it should be called a manned launch system just like N-1 is, right? Also, the Zond-type Soyuz was not even the only manned spacecraft to be launched on Proton, there was also TKS that was a very successful program, just none of the launches actually had people on board. Sorry, this is just terminology - I'm wondering what Wikipedia's definition of "manned" launch system is. Mstuomel (talk) 20:52, 14 February 2014 (UTC)

Usage of pound-force[edit]

the specs listed the thrust of the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th stage only in pound-force. i consulted the web and found numbers in kgf and newton. i found that the 1st stage (specified as 10.47 MN) matched up *exactly* with the webpage, while the amounts in pound-force of the later stages were off by big margins (in the order of 10%). this may be the result of inaccurate conversion by the editor. also a value in newton lacked. where did these numbers come from? why were they (exclusively, and primarily) in pound-force? this rocket was made in USSR so the official specs were likely not in pound-force, it's US-centrism. Bewareircd (talk) 08:50, 18 May 2011 (UTC)

New Proton variants[edit]

Good article in SpaceNews on two new Proton variants for smaller satellites. "The Proton Medium and Proton Light, which ILS officials said Krunichev has been quietly developing for Reston, Virginia-based ILS for more than a year, are on track to debut in 2018 and 2019, respectively. - See more at:"

Definitely a good source for improving the Wikipedia Proton article. Cheers. N2e (talk) 14:44, 13 September 2016 (UTC)