BAIKONUR COSMODROME, Kazakhstan, July 10, 2012– International Launch Services (ILS), a leading launch services provider for the global commercial satellite industry, successfully carried the SES-5 satellite into geostationary transfer orbit today on an ILS Proton for SES of Luxembourg (Euronext Paris and Luxembourg Stock Exchange: SESG). This was the 21th SES satellite launched on ILS Proton, the 23rd launch of a Space Systems/Loral satellite, and the 74th ILS Proton launch overall.
The ILS Proton Breeze M launched from Pad 24 at the Cosmodrome at 12:38 a.m. today local time (2:38 p.m. EDT, 18:38 GMT on July 9). The first three stages of the ILS Proton vehicle used a standard ascent profile to place the orbital unit (Breeze M upper stage and the SES-5 satellite) into a sub-orbital trajectory. The Breeze M then performed planned mission maneuvers to advance the orbital unit first to a circular parking orbit, then into intermediate orbit, followed by a transfer orbit, and finally to a geostationary transfer orbit. Successful separation of the SES-5 satellite occurred exactly 9 hours, 12 minutes after liftoff.
This was the 378th launch for Proton since its maiden flight in 1965. The Proton Breeze M launch vehicle was developed and built by Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center of Moscow, one of the pillars of the space industry and the majority shareholder in ILS.
SES-5 was built by Space Systems/Loral, based on the flight-proven SS/L 1300 platform. It includes high-powered Ku-band beams which will bring incremental capacity over Africa, and the Nordic and Baltic countries to support DTH services. Its comprehensive C-band beams cover Africa, the Middle East and Europe to enable services such as GSM backhaul, VSAT applications, maritime communications and video distribution. SES-5, weighing over 6 metric tons, carried the hosted L-band payload developed by the European Commission (EC). The payload’s system will help verify, improve and report on the reliability and accuracy of the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service’s (EGNOS) navigational positioning signals in Europe.
ILS President, Frank McKenna said, “We have been entrusted to perform many missions with our partner, SES over the past 16 years, including many industry firsts. We launched the first commercial Proton with the Astra 1F satellite back in 1996. As well, SES participated in the first commercial shared launch in July of last year with the launch of SES-3 satellite. We partnered on the unique Multi-Launch Agreement, signed just 5 years ago, to ensure SES’ access to space. Now, with the successful ILS Proton launch of SES-5, we have enabled the L-band payload for the EGNOS system in Europe. We look forward to many more innovative missions with SES and thank the ILS, Khrunichev, SES and Space Systems/Loral teams for a successful mission and ILS Proton launch of SES-5.”
“SES-5 is an important addition to our fleet serving both our commercial and government customer with our first L-band payload for EGNOS to augment the GPS system for Europe. This is a great accomplishment by all of the teams who worked on the SES-5 mission - SES, ILS, Khrunichev, and Space Systems/Loral - and we thank them for their dedicated work on the successful launch,” said SES President and CEO, Romain Bausch.