5th ILS PROTON MISSION OF 2010; 7th PROTON IN 6 MONTHS
BAIKONUR COSMODROME, Kazakhstan, July 11, 2010 – International Launch Services (ILS), a leading launch services provider for the global commercial satellite industry, successfully carried the EchoStar XV satellite into orbit today on an ILS Proton for DISH Network L.L.C., the fastest-growing pay-TV provider in America. EchoStar Satellite Services L.L.C., a subsidiary of EchoStar Corporation (Nasdaq: SATS), manages DISH Network’s space programs and will begin in-orbit testing of the satellite later this month.
The ILS Proton launched from Pad 39 at the Cosmodrome at 00:40 local time today (10 July, 14:40 EDT; 18:40 GMT). After a 9 hour 13 minute mission, the Breeze M successfully released the EchoStar XV satellite into geosynchronous transfer orbit. This is a high energy orbit that will enable the satellite to have approximately 20 years of service life. The EchoStar XV launch was the 24th successful consecutive Proton launch in 24 months, and the second ILS Proton launch of a DISH Network satellite this year.
The satellite was built by Space Systems/Loral (SS/L) on the flight-proven 1300 platform, weighing 5,521 kg at separation. EchoStar XV, located at 61.5 degrees West, is poised to provide expanded services, including HD programming, for DISH Network’s more than 14 million direct-to-home television subscribers. EchoStar XV was the 15th SS/L satellite launched on an ILS Proton.
This was the 358th launch for Proton since its inaugural flight in 1965, and the 61st 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.
“The fact that this is the second ILS Proton launch for DISH Network this year shows the strength of our relationship with our customer, EchoStar. The ILS and Khrunichev team continues to be committed to expanding DISH Network’s business, and are proud to have launched EchoStar XV on schedule, less than four months after we launched EchoStar XIV,” said ILS President, Frank McKenna.
“Today’s launch of EchoStar XV was executed well ahead of our original schedule. This schedule assurance is what we rely upon and what sets ILS apart. The performance of the Proton Breeze M launch vehicle provides increased performance—and this results in a longer spacecraft mission lifetime. As EchoStar and our customer, DISH Network, continue to grow, we look forward to future launches on ILS Proton,” said Rohan Zaveri, vice president of Space Programs for EchoStar.