The World Satellite Business Week annual meeting in Paris gathered together over seven hundred of the most influential representatives of the global satellite industry, for five days of discussion, debate and networking.
Featuring high profile speakers and top industry executives, the summit was host to thematic round table discussions and presentations, including a panel on commercial launch entitled “Towards Better Access to Space” on September 15 and a press briefing with industry journalists on Thursday, September 17 hosted by ILS and Khrunichev.
Proton Launch Successes and New Business
Prior to the conference, the Inmarsat-5 F3 satellite was launched on August 28, marking the return to flight mission for Proton and the third satellite in a series for Inmarsat to complete the Global Xpress constellation. During the conference, on September 14, the Express AM8 satellite was launched on board a Proton Block DM-03, to serve the Russian Federal government. The ILS Proton launch of the Turksat 4B satellite is next up on the manifest with two additional Proton missions planned before the end of the year.
ILS announced a new contract with Hispasat on September 14, and will be announcing more launch service agreements in the near future. Our current launch backlog represents more than three full years of launch services.
Focus on Reliability and Schedule Assurance
The reliable operation of Proton is always of utmost importance to our customers, Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center (KhSC) and ILS. ILS, KhSC and our customers are working together to ensure reliable operation of Proton for not only the next launch on the manifest, but for every launch.
As we have been introducing to the industry, KhSC has a new management team in place, led by Director General, Andrey Kalinovskiy. The new management team has come from the aviation industry in Russia and as such provides a different perspective towards KhSC production and quality management. They are actively engaged in applying principles from the aviation industry, to the factories in the Proton and Angara production chain. This change in leadership at KhSC aligns perfectly with ILS’ approach on restoring customer trust and confidence, led by new ILS President, Kirk Pysher. Pysher is a 30-year veteran of the space industry with a proven track record in mission assurance, reliability and customer satisfaction. Throughout his career, Pysher has developed positive relationships with customers and insurers that are based on trust and mutual respect, an approach that he will build upon to continue to restore customer confidence.
Angara Enters the Commercial Marketplace
This past July, ILS announced the introduction of the Angara launch vehicle into the commercial market, available for its first commercial launch in late 2017 from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in Nothern Russia.
Angara 1.2 can lift up to 3 metric tons to Low Earth Orbit (LEO) with higher performance than all other small launchers on the market. Angara 1.2 is a competitive and cost-effective option for low earth orbits. The modular design and use of common technology provides for production efficiencies therby minimizing manufacturing costs.. These cost savings will be passed on to customers.
With Proton–now in its 51st year of service with 406 launches to date–the entire range of spacecraft masses are addressed. Proton will continue to provide commercial launch service until the 2025 timeframe, when the Vosotchniy Cosmodrome, in Eastern Russia, is ready to transition commercial launches to Angara 5.