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BAIKONUR COSMODROME, Kazakhstan, Sept. 20, 2008 – An International Launch Services (ILS) Proton Breeze M launch vehicle successfully carried the Nimiq 4 satellite into space for Telesat today.
This was the fourth launch of the year, and 47th overall, for ILS. The satellite, built by EADS Astrium, was the second Eurostar 3000 bus launched by ILS in a little over a month. Proton builder Khrunichev Space Center of Moscow is the majority owner of ILS, which is based in Reston, Va.
The Proton vehicle lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome at 3:48 a.m. today local time (5:48 p.m. Friday EDT, 21:48 Friday GMT). The launch vehicle carried the 5-ton satellite for 9 hours and 11 minutes, releasing it into geosynchronous transfer orbit. Ultimately the engineers at Astrium will move the satellite to 82 degrees West longitude, where it will deliver direct-to-home television across Canada.
"We appreciate Telesat’s support as we returned to flight and instituted our quality initiative," said ILS President Frank McKenna. "We are committed to successful performance, as we saw today for Telesat, and for the long run."
McKenna added, "Nimiq 4 is the fifth satellite we have launched for Telesat, and we look forward to launching Nimiq 5 next year."
"We thank ILS and Khrunichev for their dedication to providing a successful launch," said Telesat President and CEO Dan Goldberg. "This is our fifth Proton launch and we value our strong relationship with ILS and Khrunichev."