HONOLULU, Jan. 15, 2002 – International Launch Services (ILS) and Intelsat LLC announced a contract today for launch of an Intelsat X satellite on a Proton rocket in 2003. Financial details were not disclosed.
"This contract gets the year off to a great start, and reinforces our ties with a longtime customer," said ILS President Mark Albrecht, in announcing the deal during the Pacific Telecommunications Council conference in Hawaii. "ILS has launched four Intelsat satellites since 1995, on our Atlas IIAS vehicle, and we will be launching the Intelsat 903 spacecraft on Proton in just a few weeks. With the Intelsat X series, we will have launched four generations of Intelsat satellites while demonstrating the capabilities and reliability of our two families of rockets."
Albrecht pointed out the excellent track record of the Proton and Atlas vehicles. "In the last 24 months, Atlas and Proton together have flown 32 times, all successfully," he said. "No one else offers what we do — two independent vehicles with a heritage of excellent reliability, with similar capabilities that enable them to back each other up. We've set a new standard for launch services."
The Intelsat 10-01 satellite is scheduled to launch in the second quarter of 2003 and the 10-02 spacecraft in the third quarter. ILS will launch one of these satellites, from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazahkstan, using the enhanced-performance Proton M/Breeze M vehicle built by Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center of Russia. ILS is a joint venture of Lockheed Martin Corp. in the United States, manufacturer of the Atlas vehicle family, and Proton's builders, Khrunichev and RSC Energia.
The Proton M/Breeze M vehicle took its inaugural flight in 2001 carrying a Russian government satellite. The Proton M features more powerful engines than the workhorse Proton K, structural enhancements to support the increased lift capability and a state-of-the-art digital guidance system. Together with the upgraded Breeze M upper stage, the Proton M provides enhanced performance, greater payload volume and increased mission design flexibility.
The INTELSAT X series satellites are Eurostar 3000 spacecraft designed and built by Astrium. ILS is also launching a Eurostar 3000 model for Inmarsat, on an Atlas V vehicle, in the 2003/2004 time frame.
ILS is the leading provider of launch services to the commercial and government satellite industry, having captured between 40 and 50 percent of the market in the last two years. ILS offers the broadest range of launch services in the world along with products with the highest reliability in the industry. ILS' Atlas rockets and their Centaur upper stages are built by Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company-Astronautics Operations at facilities in Denver; Harlingen, Texas; and San Diego, Calif. The three-stage Proton and the Breeze M upper stage are produced by Khrunichev at its factory near Moscow. The alternative Block DM upper stage is built by Energia, also near Moscow.