RESTON, VA / Ottawa, Canada, March 17, 2010 – International Launch Services (ILS) and Telesat, one of the world’s largest fixed satellite services operators, announced today a contract for the ILS Proton launch of Telesat’s Nimiq 6 satellite scheduled for mid-2012.
Nimiq 6 is an all Ku-band satellite with 32 high power transponders that will be located at 91 degrees West Longitude. The 5 metric ton spacecraft is now under construction at Space Systems/Loral and will utilize their flight proven 1300 platform over its planned mission life of 15 years. Nimiq 6 is fully leased to Bell TV for the satellite’s lifetime to serve the fast growing number of Bell TV subscribers across Canada.
The Proton vehicle is Russia’s premier heavy lift launcher and is built by Khrunichev Research and Space Production Center of Moscow, the majority owner of ILS and one of the pillars of the Russian space industry. Proton has a long heritage with 354 launches performed since its maiden flight in 1965.
ILS President Frank McKenna said, “ILS has a longstanding history with Telesat beginning with the first ILS Proton launch of Nimiq 1 over ten years ago, Canada’s first direct broadcast digital TV satellite. Having just launched Nimiq 5 for Telesat last fall, ILS and Khrunichev are honored to have the opportunity to again work with the Telesat and Space Systems/Loral teams on the Nimiq 6 program.”
“Since our first Nimiq satellite on an ILS Proton, Telesat has counted on ILS to deliver the reliability and on-time performance that have made them an industry leader,” said Dan Goldberg, Telesat’s President and CEO. “We look forward to working closely with ILS, Khrunichev and Space Systems/Loral on the successful launch of Nimiq 6 in mid-2012”