Heaviest Satellite Launched on ILS Proton
BAIKONUR COSMODROME, Kazakhstan, October 20, 2011 – International Launch Services (ILS), a leading launch services provider for the global commercial satellite industry, successfully carried the ViaSat-1 satellite into orbit today on an ILS Proton for ViaSat, Inc. of Carlsbad, California.
The ILS Proton Breeze M launched from Pad 39 at the Cosmodrome at 12:48 a.m. today local time (2:48 p.m. EST, 18:48 GMT on October 19). After a 9 hour, 12-minute mission, the Breeze M successfully released the ViaSat-1 satellite into geostationary transfer orbit.
This was the 369th launch for Proton since its inaugural flight in 1965, and the 68th ILS Proton launch overall. The Proton Breeze M launch vehicle was developed and built by Khrunichev Research and Production Space Center of Moscow, one of the pillars of the Russian space industry and the majority shareholder in ILS.
ViaSat-1, weighing over 6.7 metric tons, is the highest throughput satellite ever built, with a total capacity in excess of 140 Gbps, more than all satellites covering North America. The all Ka-band satellite will be positioned at 115.1 degrees West longitude with an expected service lifetime of 15 years or more. ViaSat-1 was built on Space Systems/Loral’s space-proven 1300 platform with 72 spot beams; 63 in the U.S. and nine over Canada. The Canadian beams are owned by satellite operator Telesat and will be used for the Xplornet broadband service to consumers in rural Canada. The satellite is designed to deliver service for 15 years or more.
ILS President Frank McKenna said, “It is extremely rewarding to be entrusted to launch our customers’ satellites. With this successful launch on ILS Proton, we are able to support ViaSat’s innovative plan to enhance and expand high-speed broadband services with the most powerful all Ka-band satellite in the world. On behalf of ILS and Khrunichev, we congratulate ViaSat on this milestone achievement and thank the teams of ILS, Khrunichev, ViaSat and Space Systems/Loral for a job well done.”
“The successful ILS Proton launch of ViaSat-1 is a crucial part of our growth strategy to allow customers to be connected anywhere at any time and at higher speeds. This much anticipated launch is an integral step in paving the way for more affordable and better quality bandwidth to meet consumer’s increasing demands. We applaud the teams at ILS, Khrunichev and Space System’s Loral who worked tirelessly to ensure a flawless mission and launch,” said ViaSat-1 CEO, Mark Dankberg.
About ILS and Khrunichev
ILS is a world leader in providing launch services for global satellite operators offering 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 to commercial satellite operators worldwide 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 next generation Angara launch system. The Proton launches from facilities at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, and has a heritage of 369 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.
ViaSat delivers fast, secure communications, Internet, and remote network access to fixed sites or on-the-move. The company provides networking products and managed network services for enterprise IP applications; is a key supplier of network-centric military communications and encryption technologies and products to the U.S. and allied governments; is the primary technology partner for gateway and customer-premises equipment for consumer and mobile satellite broadband services; and offers high-speed Ka-band satellite broadband services under the WildBlue brand. ViaSat also offers design capabilities and a number of complementary products including monolithic microwave integrated circuits and modules, DVB-S2 satellite communication components, video data link systems, data acceleration and compression, and mobile satellite antenna systems. Based in Carlsbad, Calif., ViaSat has established a number of worldwide locations for customer service, network operations, and technology development.