For a high definition photo of the launch, click here.
BAIKONUR COSMODROME, Kazakhstan, Aug. 19, 2008 – A Proton Breeze M launch vehicle successfully lifted the Inmarsat-4 F3 satellite into orbit today, marking the third mission of the year for International Launch Services (ILS).
The Proton Breeze M vehicle, built by Khrunichev Space Center of Moscow, lifted off from Pad 39 at the cosmodrome at 4:43 today local time (18:43 EDT Monday, 22:43 GMT Monday). After a 9-hour-3-minute mission, the launcher released the satellite into a geosynchronous transfer orbit.
The Inmarsat-4 F3 satellite, a Eurostar 3000GM model built by EADS Astrium, is expected to go into service at 98 degrees West longitude, where it will deliver mobile broadband services over the United States for Inmarsat of London.
“This is a major milestone event for Inmarsat. ILS is proud to be a part of the construction of their global service with the successful Proton launch of Inmarsat-4 F3 today,” said ILS President Frank McKenna.
“Congratulations to ILS on another successful Proton launch. The F3 launch has been highly anticipated. This satellite will enable Inmarsat to complete its BGAN services to subscribers across the globe,” said Andrew Sukawaty, president and CEO of Inmarsat. “We thank ILS for its due diligence in returning to flight successfully."
About ILS and Khrunichev:
ILS provides satellite customers with a complete array of services and support, from contract signing through mission management and on-orbit delivery. ILS has exclusive rights to market the Proton, Russia’s premier heavy-lift vehicle, to commercial satellite operators worldwide, as well as the Angara next-generation launcher. ILS is a U.S. company incorporated in Delaware, and headquartered in Reston, Va., a suburb of Washington, D.C. For more information, visit www.ilslaunch.com.
Khrunichev, which holds the majority interest in ILS, is one of the cornerstones of the Russian space industry. Khrunichev manufactures the Proton system and is developing the Angara launch system. The Proton launches from facilities at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, and has a heritage of more than 330 missions since 1965. Khrunichev includes among its branches a number of key manufacturers of launch vehicle and spacecraft components in Moscow and in other cities of the Russian Federation. For more information, visit http://www.khrunichev.com/main.php?lang=en.