BAIKONUR COSMODROME, Kazakhstan, April 10, 2007 – International Launch Services (ILS) successfully placed the Anik F3 satellite into orbit today with a Russian Khrunichev-built Proton Breeze M rocket.
The vehicle lifted off from Pad 39 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome at 4:54 a.m. local time (6:54 p.m. Monday EDT, 22:54 Monday GMT). The three-stage Proton vehicle climbed through the atmosphere for nearly 10 minutes before sending the Breeze M upper stage and its satellite payload on to continue the 9-hour-11-minute mission. The Anik F3 satellite, built for Telesat Canada by EADS Astrium, separated from the Breeze M at 2:05 p.m. local time (4:05 a.m. today EDT, 08:05 today GMT).
This was the fourth ILS Proton launch for Telesat, which launched its Anik F1R satellite in 2005, as well as Nimiq 1 in 1999 and Nimiq 2 in 2002 on Proton.
"We thank Telesat for its continued confidence in ILS and in the Proton Breeze M," said ILS President Frank McKenna. "We know we have to deliver outstanding performance to earn repeat business. We look forward to launching with Telesat and Astrium in the future, including next year's scheduled mission for Nimiq 4."
The Anik F3 satellite uses an Astrium Eurostar 3000 bus, and is the sixth of this model to be launched by Proton. The Nimiq 4 spacecraft also is a Eurostar 3000. ILS also has launched two Eurostar 2000 models.
"We are grateful to both ILS and Astrium for their flawless execution of this important mission for Telesat," said Dan Goldberg, Telesat's President and CEO. "We deeply value our association with these two premier organizations and look forward to joining with them in Baikonur next year for the launch of our Nimiq 4 satellite."
"This is a major event for Astrium. We mobilized our expert teams right across Europe to ensure the success of this mission," said Antoine Bouvier, CEO of Astrium Satellites. "The excellent teamwork developed with ILS and Telesat personnel has been crucial to this success."
Today's mission was the 40th ILS Proton launch. ILS is a U.S.-Russian joint venture that has exclusive worldwide rights to market commercial satellite launches on the Proton launcher, workhorse of the Russian space program. ILS also provides mission management. The major joint venture partners are Space Transport Inc., a privately held company, and Proton builder Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center of Moscow.
With today's launch, the Proton vehicle has carried out 325 missions for the Russian government and commercial customers over more than 40 years.
ILS is incorporated in Delaware in the United States, and is headquartered in McLean, Va., a suburb of Washington, D.C.