Reston, VA, January 15 , 2014 –International Launch Services (ILS) and Eutelsat Communications (NYSE Euronext Paris: ETL), one of the world’s leading satellite operators, announce that the EUTELSAT 9B satellite will be launched in 2015 by an ILS Proton launch vehicle.
EUTELSAT 9B, weighing 5300 kg, is a high-capacity Ku-band satellite being built by Space Systems( formerly Astrium) of Airbus Defence and Space. Based on a Eurostar E3000 platform, its 66 transponders will deliver to Eutelsat fresh resources and enhanced performance for broadcasting at the established 9 degrees East location via multiple service areas over Europe. EUTELSAT 9B will also host the first data relay payload for the European Data Relay Satellite System (EDRS) being implemented through a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) between Space Systems and ESA. The EDRS system of telecommunication satellites in geostationary orbit will enable very high data rate, bi-directional data relay communications between Low Earth Orbit Earth observation satellites and an associated ground segment.
The Proton launch vehicle is Russia’s heritage heavy-lift vehicle, built by Khrunichev Research and Production Space Center, the majority owner of ILS and one of the mainstays of the global space industry.
President of ILS, Phil Slack said, “After thirteen years and seven launches together, we are very proud that Eutelsat continues to place its trust in us to expand business with the launch of EUTELSAT 9B. ILS and Khrunichev look forward to working with the Eutelsat and Space Systems teams on this important mission.”
“ILS and Khrunichev have maintained a flawless track record of success for Eutelsat since our first Proton flight in 2000. We are confident that the performance of the Proton launcher will continue to support the expansion of our fleet,” said Michel de Rosen, Eutelsat Chairman and CEO.