McLEAN, Va., Oct. 22, 2007 – International Launch Services (ILS) has scheduled its next Proton Breeze M commercial mission for November 18 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, with the launch of the SIRIUS 4 satellite for SES SIRIUS of Sweden.
The SIRIUS 4 satellite arrived in Baikonur Friday (October 19). The satellite, a Lockheed Martin A2100AX model, will weigh approximately 4600 kg at liftoff, making it the largest in the SIRIUS fleet. SIRIUS 4 is a multi-mission Ku-and Ka-band satellite offering a wide range of communications services across Europe and Northern Africa.
A Russian State Commission concluded that during the September 6 JCSAT-11 mission on Proton, a damaged cable prevented activation of the pyro bolts that were to have separated the first and second stages of the rocket. Proton flights resume this Thursday (October 25) with a Russian federal mission to orbit three Glonass satellites.
ILS' independent Failure Review Oversight Board (FROB) reviewed the conclusions and corrective actions in early October and concurred with the commission's findings. ILS has begun a series of briefings for insurers and customers.
"As we have started the launch campaign for SIRIUS 4, we are focused on performance," said ILS President Frank McKenna. "We acknowledge the diligent effort from the people who enabled such a timely return to flight – the Russian State Commission; our partner, Khrunichev; our customer; the satellite manufacturer; the FROB members; and the U.S. Defense Technology Security Administration.
"With the launch teams now in Baikonur and the arrival of the satellite, we are proceeding steadily with diligence and determination toward a launch on 18 November," McKenna said.
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.