BAIKONUR COSMODROME, Kazakhstan, August 12, 2009 – International Launch Services (ILS), a world leader in providing mission and launch services to the commercial satellite industry, successfully carried the AsiaSat 5 satellite into orbit today on an ILS Proton for Asia Satellite Telecommunications Company Limited (AsiaSat) of Hong Kong. This was the fourth commercial mission of the year for ILS and the sixth successful Proton launch of 2009. From contract signing to launch, the full integration of the AsiaSat 5 mission was completed in less than six months.
The ILS Proton Breeze M launched from Pad 39 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome at 1:47 a.m. today local time (3:47 a.m. in Hong Kong, August 12, 19:47 GMT, August 11 and 3:47 p.m. EDT, August 11). After a 9 hour 15 minute mission, the Breeze M successfully released the AsiaSat 5 satellite, weighing over 3.7 metric tons, into geo-transfer orbit. This was the 347th launch for the Proton. The Proton Breeze M vehicle is developed and built by Khrunichev Research and Production Space Center of Moscow, Russia’s premier space manufacturer.
Built by Space Systems/Loral, AsiaSat 5 will replace AsiaSat 2 at the orbital location of 100.5 degrees East. This new satellite with an enhanced pan Asian C-band footprint and high-power Ku-band beams over East Asia, South Asia, and an in-orbit steerable Ku beam, will provide advanced satellite services including television broadcast, telephone networks and VSAT networks for broadband multimedia services across the Asia Pacific. The satellite is based on the Space Systems/Loral 1300 platform, designed for a lifespan of 15 years. The station-keeping lifetime of the satellite may be even longer as a result of the performance of the ILS Proton launch vehicle.
Frank McKenna, President of ILS said, “This full integration and successful launch on ILS Proton of AsiaSat 5 in less than six months was a focused team effort on behalf of ILS, Khrunichev, AsiaSat and Space Systems/Loral. This is the real value that ILS/Proton offers our customers and we are proud to have met AsiaSat’s demanding business imperative for the replacement strategy of AsiaSat 2.”
“Launching AsiaSat 5 on ILS Proton was the best solution to meet our planned schedule for AsiaSat 2 replacement, to assure service continuity for all users on AsiaSat 2. We are most grateful for the diligence, professionalism and dedication demonstrated by ILS and Khrunichev to achieve on time delivery that is simply unmatched,” said Peter Jackson, Chief Executive Officer of AsiaSat.
About ILS and Khrunichev
ILS is a world leader in providing mission and launch services for global satellite operators. ILS offers a complete array of services and support, from contract signing through mission management and on-orbit delivery. ILS has exclusive rights to market the Proton vehicle and is a U.S. company headquartered in Reston, Va., near Washington, D.C. For more information, visit www.ilslaunch.com.
Khrunichev, which holds the majority interest in ILS, is one of the cornerstones of the Russian space industry. Khrunichev manufactures the Proton system and is developing the Angara launch system. The Proton launches from facilities at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, and has a heritage of over 340 missions since 1965. Khrunichev includes among its branches a number of key manufacturers of launch vehicle and spacecraft components in Moscow and in other cities of the Russian Federation. For more information, visit www.khrunichev.com.
AsiaSat, the leading regional satellite operator in Asia, serves over two-thirds of the world's population with its three satellites, AsiaSat 2 at 100.5ºE, AsiaSat 3S at 105.5ºE and AsiaSat 4 at 122ºE. The AsiaSat satellite system provides services to both the broadcast and telecommunications industries. Over 300 television and radio channels are now delivered by the company's satellites, reaching over 96 million households, with more than 360 million viewers across the Asia Pacific region. Many telecommunications customers use AsiaSat for services such as public telephone networks, private VSAT networks and broadband multimedia services. It is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Asia Satellite Telecommunications Holdings Limited, a company listed on The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (SEHK: 1135). In March and June of this year, AsiaSat was selected the ‘Best Asian Satellite Carrier’ and the ‘Satellite Service Provider of the Year in Asia Pacific’ respectively by Telecom Asia magazine and Frost & Sullivan. For more information, please visit www.asiasat.comFor more information, please visit www.asiasat.com