BAIKONUR COSMODROME, Kazakhstan, July 16, 2011 – International Launch Services (ILS), a leading launch services provider for the global commercial satellite industry, successfully carried the SES-3 satellite into geostationary transfer orbit for SES of Luxembourg (Euronext Paris and Luxembourg Stock Exchange: SESG), one of the world’s largest telecommunications satellite operators with a fleet of 45 satellites in orbit. This was the first commercial shared launch for ILS; the SES-3 satellite was paired with the KazSat-2 satellite to serve the Republic of Kazakhstan.
The ILS Proton Breeze M launched from Pad 39 at the Cosmodrome at 5:16 a.m. today local time (7:16 p.m. EDT, 11:16 GMT on July 15, 1:16 a.m CET on July 16). After an 8-hour, 1-minute mission, the Breeze M successfully released the SES-3 satellite directly into geostationary transfer orbit. The KazSat-2 satellite, built by Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center (Khrunichev), was delivered directly into geosynchronous orbit after a 9-hour, 24-minute mission.
This was the 365th launch for Proton since its inaugural flight in 1965, and the 66th ILS Proton launch overall. The Proton Breeze M launch vehicle was developed and built by Khrunichev of Moscow, one of the pillars of the Russian space industry and the majority shareholder in ILS
The SES-3 satellite was built on Orbital’s space-proven Star 2.4 platform and will replace SES’ existing AMC-1 satellite at the orbital position of 103 degrees West. SES-3 will provide continuity of service to the enterprise, government and media sectors from the center of the North American arc. The satellite will also be powering private networks and thousands of VSAT terminals for the enterprise community.
“This is our 18th mission with our long standing partner SES, dating back to the inaugural commercial launch of ILS Proton with SES’s Astra 1F satellite 15 years ago. We are pleased to celebrate another milestone with SES—with the first shared launch for ILS Proton. We thank the dedicated team of ILS, Khrunichev, SES and Orbital in successfully launching the second in the series of new generation SES satellites. We look forward to performing all of our upcoming launches for SES,” said ILS President, Frank McKenna.
Romain Bausch, President and CEO of SES, stated: “The successful ILS Proton launch of SES-3 marks an important event for SES’ North American customers as the new satellite will provide seamless continuity to some of our key customers for the next decade and beyond. SES would like to thank ILS and Orbital for a mission delivered on time and according to specifications. Timely access to space is of utmost importance to SES, as we implement the satellite industry’s most important satellite replacement and fleet expansion program. We look forward to continue working with ILS as an essential provider in the launch industry.”