MADRID, Spain, Sept. 9, 2003 – International Launch Services (ILS) of the United States will launch the Amazonas satellite for HISPASAT of Spain on a Proton/Breeze M vehicle next year under a contract announced today. This is the third launch pairing for HISPASAT and ILS, who saw the successful flights of HISPASAT 1C in 2000 and HISPASAT 1D in 2002 on Atlas IIAS vehicles from Cape Canaveral, Fla.
The Amazonas launch, planned for mid-2004, is scheduled to be the first Proton mission for HISPASAT. The heavy-lift Proton vehicle, with the proven Breeze M upper stage, will lift off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The launch will follow several launches from other international satellite operators.
The chosen configuration is a satellite with 32 active transponders in Ku-band and 19 active transponders in C-band. The Astrium platform is the Eurostar 3000 and it will have an operating life of 15 years and a total launching mass of approximately 4,600 kg. This type of spacecraft is currently scheduled to be launched by Proton/Breeze M in late 2003 for another customer's mission.
"The Latin American market, where HISPASAT will launch this new communications satellite, takes on essential strategic value for the future of HISPASAT. And this is not only because of historic, cultural and linguistic ties with America, but also because of the extraordinary contribution that the communication satellites can make for its future economic and social development," said HISPASAT CEO Jacinto Garcia Palacios.
"ILS is honored to be selected by HISPASAT to provide launch services for Amazonas, another critical commercial satellite for HISPASAT's expanding business," said ILS President Mark Albrecht. "It is therefore with great pride for ILS and for our shareholders Lockheed Martin of the U.S. and Khrunichev of Russia — that we continue the partnership for a third consecutive launch. This mission brings us together not only with HISPASAT, but also with HISPASAT's broad base of European and Latin America partners and shareholders in the Amazonas program."