BAIKONUR COSMODROME, Kazakhstan, April 24, 2012– International Launch Services (ILS), a leading launch services provider for the global commercial satellite industry, successfully carried the Y1B satellite into geostationary transfer orbit today on an ILS Proton for Al Yah Satellite Communications (Yahsat) of Abu Dhabi. This was third ILS Proton launch so far this year and the 72nd ILS Proton launch overall.
The ILS Proton Breeze M launched from Pad 39 at the Cosmodrome at 4:18 a.m. today local time (6:19 pm EDT, 22:18 GMT ). After a 9 hour, 12-minute, 5-burn mission, the Breeze M successfully released the Y1B satellite, weighing over 6 metric tons, into geostationary transfer orbit.
This was the 376th launch for Proton since its inaugural flight 47 years ago. 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 global space industry and the majority shareholder in ILS.
Y1B, built on the Eurostar E3000 platform, will deliver communications in Ka-band to serve both commercial and government users. Y1B is the 14th Eurostar satellite launched on ILS Proton. The dual use satellite’s platform was developed by Astrium and the payload by Thales Alenia Space.
ILS President, Frank McKenna said, “ILS was honored to launch the Y1B satellite on ILS Proton, enabling the deployment of their YahClick network that will provide high speed broadband services across Southwest Asia, Africa and the Middle East. ILS was squarely focused on achieving on-time delivery to meet Yahsat’s requirements for their commercial and government customers. My sincere thanks to the ILS, Khrunichev, Yahsat, Thales Alenia Space and Astrium teams who worked tirelessly to ensure a successful mission and launch for our new customer Yahsat.”
“We are delighted to see this milestone in our business plan reached with the launch of Y1B. With the satellite in orbit, we are on track in our mission to connect communities around the region with reliable, affordable broadband services through our “YahClick” service. Communications is a vital factor for economic and social growth in today’s world and we are very excited to be bringing this pioneering vision into reality.” said Yahsat CEO, Tareq Abdel Raheem Al Hosani.