Launch Services Panel Summary
The CASBAA Satellite Industry Forum was held in Singapore on June 17. The forum’s full agenda and the opportunity for networking in between breaks made for a successful event. Each year the conference is well attended by all regional operators, manufacturers as well as all launchers, including International Launch Services (ILS).
Dr. Ratnarajah Kularajah, regional sales director for ILS, participated in the launch services panel moderated by Peter Jackson, non-executive director of AsiaSat. This years’ panel topic was “The Changing Launch Game.” Joining Dr. Kularajah on the panel was Richard Bowles of Arianespace Singapore, Fu Zhiheng of China Great Wall Industry Corp, Ryo Nakamura of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ H-IIA/H-IIB Launch Service, and Barry Matsumori of SpaceX.
The 50-minute panel discussed new and emerging demands from satellite manufacturers and operators.
ILS Offering Lower-Cost Configurations
It was pointed out that the launch price competitiveness would depend on the launch mass “category.” ILS is very competitive in two categories: the heavy satellite solutions and the lighter solutions using the dual Proton launch. As demonstrated by the successful dual launch of the SES-3 and KazSat-2 satellites in 2011, ILS Proton has made this a viable option. ILS is also currently configuring a 5-meter diameter payload fairing to accommodate larger satellites in singular, dual, and stacked configurations. This larger fairing allows Proton to continue as a low-cost, high-value option.
The discussion then continued to the electric propulsion satellite trend that is becoming more widely desired within the satellite industry. This class of satellite is lower in mass and would benefit from the lower-cost dual launches offered by Proton.
ILS and the Future
When asked by Jackson about future ILS offerings, Dr. Kularajah spoke about the Angara family of launchers. Currently targeting a 2014 launch of Angara, ILS will have rights to bring the full family of Angara rockets to the commercial satellite industry. Both the Angara light and heavy classes are slated for 2014, with the light class debuting ahead of the heavy. Hardware has been delivered to the Plesetsk Cosmodrome, and tests are ongoing. By continuing to offer new configurations for Proton, and marketing the new Angara family of launchers in light, medium and heavy classes, ILS is well positioned to meet the future demands of the global satellite community.