MOSCOW, Oct. 22, 2000 - International Launch Services (ILS) today successfully launched the Lockheed Martin-built GE-6 satellite into geostationary orbit marking the fifth successful ILS flight on Proton this year, and the thirteenth consecutive flight for Khrunichev this year alone. The Proton launch was conducted for GE American Communications (GE Americom) under the auspices of ILS by a combined American and Russian team.
The GE-6 satellite was launched at 4:00 a.m. Baikonur time (6:00 pm October 21, USA EDT) on a Proton/Block DM from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in the Republic of Kazakhstan. Successful spacecraft separation was confirmed approximately 6 hours 40 minutes after lift-off. The spacecraft will primarily provide video distribution services. The Proton is built by Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center at its complex near Moscow, Russian Federation.
"With this launch of GE-6 following the successful launch of GE-1A just three weeks ago, we are proud to continue raising the standards in the launch industry," said Dr. Mark Albrecht, president of ILS. "By providing reliability in both delivering the payload into a precision orbit and achieving this with a turnaround time of just three weeks," he continued, "ILS has done its part to help GE Americom continue to better serve its customers."
"We're all very excited at ILS to have achieved a record of 12 consecutive successful launches for Proton and Atlas since the beginning of the year," Dr. Albrecht added.
"We are pleased with the successful launch of GE-6 and especially proud to provide our long-time valued customer - GE Americom - with three robust A2100 satellites in less than five weeks," said Ted Gavrilis, president of Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems. " I congratulate the team of professionals who helped achieve mission success. "
GE-6, a powerful hybrid satellite, will be located at 72ï¿½ W.L. and provide service throughout North America, the Caribbean and Latin America. The spacecraft features 24 36 Mhz C-band transponders with 20 watt SSPAs and 24 36 MHz and four 72 MHz Ku-band transponders with 110 watt TWTAs. The GE-6 satellite is an A2100AX spacecraft, manufactured by Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems for a minimum useful life of 15 years. Expected to be fully operational by Nov. 30, 2000, GE-6 will deliver direct-to-home (DTH), video distribution and data services.
Headquartered in McLean, VA, USA, International Launch Services is a joint venture stock company established in 1995 to jointly market the Russian-built Proton and the Lockheed Martin-built Atlas to the worldwide satellite launch market. The company currently offers the broadest range of launcher products in the world along with the highest reliability in the industry. ILS is owned by Lockheed Martin Commercial Launch Services (LMCLS) and the Lockheed Khrunichev Energia International (LKEI) joint venture.