BAIKONUR COSMODROME, Kazakhstan, Oct. 12, 2006 – International Launch Services (ILS) kicked off its next Proton launch campaign this week with the arrival Tuesday of the satellite payload, Arabsat's BADR-4, at the Baikonur Cosmodrome.
With the delivery of the Proton's Breeze M upper stage today, all flight hardware is in place for the scheduled Nov. 9 launch. The liftoff time is 2:01 a.m. in Baikonur, 20:01 Nov. 8 GMT and 3:01 p.m. Nov. 8 EST.
The BADR-4 launch will be followed in about a month by another ILS Proton mission, with the MEASAT-3 satellite. The Russian government also has scheduled the launch of a GLONASS navigation satellite on a Proton vehicle in December, making for a busy fourth quarter.
"We are committed to successfully delivering our customers' satellites to orbit on schedule with the Proton launch system," said Frank McKenna, ILS president.
The BADR-4 satellite is an Astrium Eurostar E2000+ model, the third Eurostar satellite to be launched this year on Proton. Astrium contracted with ILS for the launch on behalf of the end-user, Arabsat.
The spacecraft is a multipurpose communications satellite designed to serve the Arab countries and neighboring regions. The Ku-band payload will carry direct-to-home, interactive TV and internet broadband services, with additional capacity to accommodate anticipated demand for high-definition TV.
International Launch Services is the U.S.-Russian joint venture between Space Transport Inc. and Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center with RSC Energia. ILS has the exclusive rights for worldwide commercial sales and mission management of satellite launches on Russia's premier vehicle, the Proton, and the future Angara vehicle. ILS is incorporated in Delaware in the United States, and is headquartered in McLean, Va., a suburb of Washington, D.C.