McLEAN, Va., July 13, 2004 — International Launch Services (ILS) will launch the DIRECTV 8 satellite in the spring of 2005 on a Proton M/Breeze M vehicle, under a new contract with DIRECTV. Financial details were not disclosed.
"The Proton vehicle is the workhorse of the launch industry, and this year could have as many as 10 missions for ILS and the Russian government combined," said ILS President Mark Albrecht. "We welcome DIRECTV back to Proton, and we look forward to working with the DIRECTV Group."
This will be the third DIRECTV satellite to launch on an ILS vehicle. ILS, a joint venture of Lockheed Martin [NYSE:LMT] of the United States and Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center of Russia, offers launches on the American Atlas and the Russian Proton vehicles. The DIRECTV 2 satellite was launched on an Atlas rocket in August 1994, and DIRECTV 5 was carried by a Proton rocket in May 2002. The DIRECTV 8 satellite is a 1300 model built by Space Systems/Loral, similar to DIRECTV 5.
The DIRECTV 8 contract is the ninth announced by ILS in 2004. ILS has established itself as the indisputable launch services leader by offering the industry's two best launch systems: Atlas and Proton. With a remarkable launch rate of 64 missions since 2000, the Atlas and Proton launch vehicles have consistently demonstrated the reliability and flexibility that have made them the vehicles of choice. Since the beginning of 2003, ILS has signed more new commercial contracts than all of its competitors combined. By any measure, ILS is truly the global leader.
ILS markets and manages the missions on the Atlas rocket in the United States and on the Proton rocket at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan. ILS was formed in 1995, and is based in McLean, Va., a suburb of Washington, D.C.