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ILS Legacy

Setting the standard for Russian-American space cooperation, International Launch Services is an unparalleled success in the space industry.

History of ILS

Space History, ILS and KhrunichevOn 10 June 1995, International Launch Services was established, upon the merger of Lockheed and Martin Marietta companies, to market Proton and Atlas launch services to the commercial satellite telecommunications marketplace worldwide. Prior to the merger, each of these companies were competing in the commercial launch services market with the Proton and Atlas rockets. Lockheed entered the launch market in 1993 with the establishment of Lockheed-Khrunichev- Energia International (LKEI), the joint venture to exclusively market the Russian Proton launch vehicle. Similarly, Martin Marietta had entered the commercial launch arena with the family of Atlas launch vehicles. Neither rocket was new to the market, however, and provided a combined heritage foundation of more than 450 launches at the inception of ILS.

In October 2006, ILS became a stand-alone company focused on a single product, the Proton Breeze M rocket. Space Transport Inc., a private company, purchased Lockheed Martin’s interest in ILS and for the first time in our history ILS would operate independently. ILS was restructured based on a key objective: focus on performance. We believed then, and it remains true today, that ILS would continue to prosper by consistently meeting our commitments to our customers with dependable products and services.

In May 2008, Khrunichev became the majority shareholder of ILS.

The Proton Launch Vehicle

ILS Proton 50th Anniversary EmblemILS offers one of the premier heavy-lift launch vehicles in the world: the Proton and the Angara 1.2 vehicle. With an impressive heritage of demonstrated performance, the Proton launcher provides proven on-time reliability and expanded commercial capability, launched from the dedicated world-class facilities in Baikonur, Kazakhstan.
Built by the Khrunichev State Research and Production Center, the Proton rocket is the largest Russian launch vehicle in operational service. Proton launches both geostationary and interplanetary missions, and is the principal workhorse of the Russian space program.

The Proton launch system has been used in more than 400 missions and
DIRECTV Commercial Satellite Proton Rocket Launchlaunches about 12 times a year. This gives the Proton launch vehicle the best heavy-lift launch tempo in the industry.

The evolutionary enhancements to the Proton rocket have taken the lift capability to over 6 metric tons. The current Phase III Proton launcher was first demonstrated with the successful launch of the Federal dual Express mission in February 2009. This standard configuration has optimized GTO and GSO performance capabilities.

The first commercial Phase III launch on Proton was in March 2010 with the launch of EchoStar XIV. The ViaSat-1 satellite is the heaviest satellite launched on ILS Proton weighing over 6.7 metric tons at liftoff.

Angara 1.2 Enters the Commercial Market

In July 2015, ILS announced the commercial entrance of the Angara 1.2 launch vehicle into the marketplace. Launches will be conducted from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia starting in 2017. Augmented with the heavy-lift Proton vehicle, ILS now has capability to launch the entire range of satellite masses with both vehicles serving the market.
Angara 1.2 Lift-off
ILS possesses the rights to market the Angara vehicle to commercial customers. The Angara family of launchers will support virtually all spacecraft to all orbits, altitudes and inclinations for the low-, medium-, and heavy-lift spacecraft market. Based on a modular design and state of the art technology, the Angara family of vehicles has a high performing payload mass to lift-off mass ratio, when fully fueled. The Proton and Angara vehicles are manufactured by Khrunichev State Research and Space Production Center (Khrunichev), the majority owner of ILS.

The Angara 1.2 launch vehicle can lift 3 metric tons to Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and was successfully flight demonstrated on 9 July 2014 from the Plesetsk launch site. The first flight of Angara 5, the heavy-lift variant, was conducted on 23 December 2014. This vehicle will be available for GTO missions in the 2021 timeframe, following completion of the Vostochny Cosmodrome launch site located in eastern Russia. In the meantime, the existing Proton launch vehicle from Baikonur will continue to meet heavy-lift requirements, with Angara 1.2 providing the low- and medium-lift requirements.

For more information on the Proton Launch Vehicle, Angara 1.2 and launch services provided by ILS, view our Proton Mission Planner's Guide.

History of Khrunichev

Khrunichev logoKhrunichev State Research and Production Space Center (Khrunichev), a Federal State Unitary Enterprise (FSUE), has been a longstanding leader in the advancement of space programs. Founded in 1916 and headquartered in Moscow, Khrunichev’s varied product lines include launch vehicles and launch vehicle upper stages, communication and earth observation satellites, rocket engines and space station modules.

Over time, Khrunichev has emerged as one of the world’s largest space production centers, serving the international satellite telecommunication industry as well as Russian Federal and international space programs, working with 45 different companies in 22 countries across the globe.

ILS and Khrunichev are dedicated to the success of your mission. For further information on launching with ILS please contact us.

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