BAIKONUR COSMODROME, Kazakhstan, September 30, 2011 – International Launch Services (ILS), a leading launch services provider for the global commercial satellite industry, successfully carried the QuetzSat-1 satellite into geostationary transfer orbit today on an ILS Proton for SES of Luxembourg (Euronext Paris and Luxembourg Stock Exchange: SESG). This was the 19th SES satellite launched on ILS Proton.
The ILS Proton Breeze M launched from Pad 39 at the Cosmodrome at 12:32 a.m. today local time (2:32 p.m. EST, 18:32 GMT on September 29). After a 9 hour, 13-minute mission, the Breeze M successfully released the QuetzSat-1 satellite into geosynchronous transfer orbit.
This was the 368th launch for Proton since its inaugural flight in 1965, and the 67th ILS Proton launch overall. The Proton Breeze M launch vehicle was developed and built by Khrunichev Research and Production Space Center of Moscow, one of the pillars of the Russian space industry and the majority shareholder in ILS.
QuetzSat-1 is an all Ku-band high-powered (20-kilowatt) communications broadcasting satellite with coverage of Mexico, USA, and Central America which is fully contracted to a subsidiary of EchoStar Corporation. The spacecraft is based on Space Systems/Loral’s highly reliable 1300 satellite platform and carries 32 Ku-band transponders. QuetzSat-1 provides the flexibility to support a broad range of applications and technology advances and provides high power for advanced DTH television. It is designed to deliver service for 15 years or longer.
ILS President, Frank McKenna said, “SES has a long history with ILS and is an integral part of our heritage with 19 missions launched on ILS Proton, dating back to the groundbreaking first launch on ILS Proton in 1996 with SES’s Astra 1F satellite. This long-term partnership illustrates a high level of confidence and trust in ILS Proton to launch over a third of their satellite fleet. We are honored to have launched the important QuetzSat-1 satellite for SES to serve EchoStar and thank SES, Space Systems/Loral and the ILS and Khrunichev teams for ensuring a successful launch of QuetzSat-1 to provide DTH services to Mexico and North and Central America.”
“The successful launch on ILS Proton of QuetzSat-1 satellite was critical for SES and our customer, EchoStar. We know we can count on ILS as they share the same dedication and commitment to facilitating the expansion of satellite communications worldwide with a launch on the heritage Proton launch vehicle. We look forward to our upcoming launches on ILS Proton to support the continued growth and replacement of our satellite fleet, continuing to reach new markets across the globe,” said SES President and CEO, Romain Bausch.