BAIKONUR COSMODROME, Kazakhstan, Sept. 9, 2005 – A Russian-built Proton Breeze M launch vehicle successfully placed a satellite into orbit this morning for Telesat, one of the world's leading satellite operators. The launch of the new Anik F1R satellite was the sixth mission of the year for International Launch Services (ILS).
International Launch Services is a joint venture of Proton builder Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center, and Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT), builder of the Atlas launcher. ILS, based in McLean, Va., provides marketing and mission management for both vehicles.
The Proton vehicle lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome at 3:53 a.m. local time (5:53 p.m. Thursday EDT, 21:53 GMT). The three-stage Proton booster flew for approximately 10 minutes before separating from the Breeze M upper stage. The Breeze M then fired its on-board engine five times over the next nine hours to place the satellite into a geosynchronous transfer orbit. Anik F1R, an EADS Astrium-built E3000 model, will be maneuvered over the next few weeks into its final orbit 36,000 km above the equator.
From its operating position of 107.3 degrees West longitude, Anik F1R will deliver broadcasting, communications and air navigation services in Canada and the United States, on behalf of Telesat. "Anik" is an Inuit word meaning "little brother."
"With today's launch, the Proton Breeze M continues its 100 percent successful mission record," said ILS President Mark Albrecht. "We're glad to again provide a good launch for Telesat, which had the confidence in ILS to be the first commercial customer for this configuration nearly three years ago. Overall, this is the third Telesat satellite launched by ILS, and we look forward to another successful mission next year with Anik F3."
"Anik F1R is also the latest in a long line of Telesat satellites to pioneer critical services that benefit millions of people across North America every day," said Larry Boisvert, Telesat's president and CEO. "Telesat's success would not be possible without partners such as ILS. After all, reliable satellite communications begin with a reliable satellite launch."
"This is a major event for EADS Astrium. We mobilised our expert teams right across Europe to ensure the success of this mission," said Antoine Bouvier, CEO of EADS Astrium. "The excellent teamwork developed with ILS and Telesat personnel has been crucial to this success." Anik F1R is the fifth Eurostar E3000 spacecraft placed in orbit to date.
International Launch Services is the global leader, offering the industry's two best launch systems: Atlas and Proton. With a remarkable launch rate of 77 missions since 2000, the Atlas and Proton launch vehicles have consistently demonstrated the reliability and flexibility that have made them the preferred choice among satellite operators worldwide. For more information, please visit www.ilslaunch.com.