McLEAN, Va., and LONDON, July 1, 2008 – International Launch Services (ILS) has scheduled its next Proton Breeze M commercial mission for August 14 (August 13 GMT) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, with the launch of the Inmarsat-4 F3 satellite.
The satellite is scheduled to be shipped to Baikonur in early July for a six-week launch programme. The satellite, an EADS Astrium Eurostar 3000 model, will weigh approximately 6 metric tons at liftoff, perfectly suited for the Proton Breeze M’s lift capability. Khrunichev Space Center of Moscow, the majority shareholder in ILS, manufactures the Proton system.
The Inmarsat-4 F3 satellite will complete Inmarsat’s next-generation global satellite network, providing broadband MSS services to users everywhere.
This is the first ILS mission since a Breeze M upper stage suffered a failure during the AMC-14 mission in March. The Proton Breeze M is ready to return to flight now that a Russian State Commission and an ILS-led independent review panel have concluded their inquiries into that incident and corrective actions have been completed.
“Having participated in the failure review process in its entirety, I am satisfied that the appropriate actions have been taken to deal with recent failures and to reassess the quality of the Proton vehicle. Inmarsat now expects to transport the satellite to the launch site and complete certain other formalities in sufficient time to target the launch date announced today,” said Gene Jilg, Chief Technology Officer for Inmarsat.
“We thank Inmarsat for its support and patience,” said ILS President Frank McKenna. “We know how important this satellite is for the continued success of Inmarsat’s growing broadband services, and we look forward to the start of the campaign in the coming days.”
About ILS and Khrunichev:
ILS provides satellite customers with 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, Russia’s premier heavy-lift vehicle, to commercial satellite operators worldwide, as well as the Angara next-generation launcher. ILS is a U.S. company incorporated in Delaware, and headquartered in McLean, Va., a suburb of Washington, D.C. For more information, visit http://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 Angara launch system. The Proton launches from facilities at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, and has a heritage of more than 330 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 http://www.khrunichev.com/main.php?lang=en.
Inmarsat plc (LSE: ISAT) is the leading provider of global mobile satellite communications. Since 1979, Inmarsat has been providing reliable voice and high-speed data communications to governments, enterprises and other organisations, with a range of services that can be used on land, at sea or in the air. The company’s services are delivered through a global network of more than 500 distribution partners and service providers operating in 180 countries. For the year ended 31 December 2007, Inmarsat plc had total revenue of US$ 576.5 million. More information can be found at http://www.inmarsat.com/.
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