At 2109 GMT on 14 February, a Proton M/Breeze M rocket successfully launched the Turksat 4A communications satellite into a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit. The spacecraft was built in Japan by the Mitsibushi Electric Company (Melco) using a version of its DS-2000 bus/platform design. Because the 4,800kg mass spacecraft had been deliberately fuelled to excess at launch, this, in combination with an accurate launch, has resulted in the spacecraft likely to be able to manoeuvre for double its 15 year minimum design lifespan as it provides communications services over Asia and Europe.
According to the Seradata SpaceTrak launch and satellite database, the flight marked the 250 launch attempt to GTO (Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit) for all the way to GEO (Geostationary Earth Orbit) for the Proton rocket series. Of these, 21 have failed to either achieve orbit, or failed to place its satellite payload into a correct orbit, equating to a failure rate of 8.40% when flying to GEO/GTO. While stable, this failure rate shows little evidence of reducing over time – a trait for Russian launch vehicles which has been put down to Proton and its fellow Russian rockets having worse quality control when compared to their Western launch vehicle counterparts.