BAIKONUR COSMODROME, Kazakhstan, May 18, 2012 – International Launch Services (ILS), a world leader in providing mission and launch services to the commercial satellite industry, successfully carried the Nimiq 6 satellite into the planned orbit today on an ILS Proton for Telesat, a leading global fixed satellite services operator headquartered in Ottawa, Canada.
The ILS Proton Breeze M launched from Pad 24 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome at 1:12 a.m. today local time (19:12 GMT, 3:12 p.m. EDT, on May 17). After a 9 hour 14 minute 5-burn mission, the Breeze M successfully released the satellite, weighing approximately 4.5 metric tons, into the planned geostationary transfer orbit. This was the 377th launch for the Proton vehicle since its inaugural flight in 1965 and the 73rd ILS Proton launch. The launch of the Nimiq 6 satellite was the 5th Proton launch in the past 93 days.
Telesat’s Nimiq 6 satellite was built by Space Systems/Loral (SS/L) using the flight proven SS/L 1300 platform. Nimiq 6 has 32 high powered Ku-band transponders that will provide coverage to Canada from its orbital location of 91.1° West longitude. Telesat’s Nimiq fleet is comprised of direct broadcast satellites utilized by Telesat’s customers to provide Direct-to-Home (DTH) television services to consumers in North America.
ILS President Frank McKenna said, “With the ILS Proton launch of Nimiq 6, ILS Proton has launched all of the Nimiq series satellites built for Telesat. This is an accomplishment we are very proud of and reflects a level of confidence and trust by Telesat in the performance of the ILS Proton vehicle. Our strong relationship with Telesat spans over 12 years and 8 satellites launched to date. We thank the collective mission teams of ILS, Khrunichev, Telesat and Space Systems/Loral for their outstanding work on the Nimiq 6 launch and look forward to the ILS Proton launch of Anik G1 later this year. ”
“Launching our satellites on schedule is of great value to Telesat,” said President and CEO of Telesat, Dan Goldberg. “With the successful ILS Proton launch of the Nimiq 6 satellite we are meeting demand for additional high-powered Ku-band capacity for DTH services. Nimiq 6 joins our existing Nimiq fleet and will provide Bell TV with improved performance to deliver the very latest video services for their subscriber base across Canada. The ILS, Khrunichev, Telesat and Space Systems/Loral teams are to be commended for another mission well-executed.”