RESTON, Va. /Mexico City, Mexico, December 29, 2010 – International Launch Services (ILS) and Satellites Mexicanos S.A. de C.V. (Satmex) announce the launch of the Satmex 8 satellite on an ILS Proton. The satellite is under construction by Space Systems/Loral (SS/L). ILS and Khrunichev are implementing a mission integration schedule to support a third quarter 2012 ILS Proton launch of Satmex 8 into geostationary transfer orbit from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
Satmex 8 is a high-power, 5600 kg satellite with 24 C and 40 Ku-band transponders to replace Satmex 5. Located at the orbital location of 116.8 degrees West, Satmex 8 will provide Fixed Satellite Services to serve the continental United States to Argentina as well as the Caribbean, all of Latin America and the major cities of Brazil. Satmex 8 is built on the flight proven SS/L 1300 platform designed for a lifespan of 15 years. The Proton vehicle has a heritage of 363 launches since 1965 and is built by Khrunichev Research and State Production Center, the majority owner of ILS.
Frank McKenna, President of ILS said, “We are honored to be working with our new customer Satmex to help expand their business and their satellite fleet with the launch of Satmex 8 on 2012 on ILS Proton. ILS and Khrunichev are poised to support Satmex’s schedule needs and look forward to delivering exceptional quality and value with an ILS Proton launch.”
“ILS Proton offers the best solution for executing our replacement plan to provide continuity of services to our existing and new customers. Satmex requires a high level of schedule assurance and flexibility which we believe can be provided at this time by a dedicated launch on ILS Proton. With ILS Proton’s track record of achievement, we know we can count on the high performing team of professionals of ILS, Khrunichev and Space Systems/Loral to accomplish a successful mission for Satmex 8,” said Satmex’s Chief Executive Officer, Patricio Northland.