BAIKONUR COSMODROME, Kazakhstan, April 24, 2010 – International Launch Services (ILS), a leading launch services provider for the global commercial satellite industry, successfully carried the SES-1 satellite directly into geostationary orbit today on an ILS Proton for SES WORLD SKIES, an SES company (Euronext Paris and Luxembourg Stock Exchange: SESG). This was the third ILS Proton launch and the fifth overall Proton launch this year. The SES-1 satellite was also the 22nd consecutive successful Proton launch in 21 months.
The ILS Proton Breeze M launched from Pad 39 at the Cosmodrome at 5:19 p.m. today local time (7:19 a.m. EDT, 11:19 GMT). After an eight-hour, 58-minute mission, the Breeze M successfully released the SES-1 satellite directly into geostationary orbit.
This was the 356th launch for Proton since its inaugural flight in 1965, and the 59th 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
The SES-1 satellite was built on Orbital’s space-proven Star 2.4 platform and will replace SES’ existing AMC-2 and AMC-4 satellites at the orbital position of 101 degrees West. SES-1 is an integral part of SES’ satellite replacement program over North America. The spacecraft carries 24 C-band transponders as well as 24 Ku-band transponders of 36 MHz capacity each and has been designed to have a minimum expected service time of 15 years.
Frank McKenna, ILS President said, “With our long term partners, SES, this is our 17th mission together, dating back to the inaugural commercial launch of ILS Proton with SES’s Astra 1F fourteen years ago. ILS is pleased to again provide to SES outstanding value, and on-time direct-into-GSO delivery of SES-1 to serve millions of North American customers with new services. We thank the teams of ILS, Khrunichev, SES and Orbital for their dedication to this important mission which kicks off SES’s comprehensive replacement program over North America.”
Rob Bednarek, President and CEO of SES WORLD SKIES said, “The successful, on-time launch on ILS Proton of SES-1 marks a very significant event for our North American customers. SES-1 will provide uninterrupted replacement capacity for SES WORLD SKIES, providing TV programming into every cable network in America. This is the first of five SES missions on ILS Proton in the next 18 months. We look forward to our future launches with ILS and the same quality and schedule assurance that we have come to count on for the continued expansion and replacement of our satellite fleet.”