MOSCOW, Oct. 2, 2000 – International Launch Services (ILS) today successfully launched the Lockheed Martin-built GE-1A satellite into geostationary orbit marking the fourth successful ILS flight on Proton this year, and the eleventh consecutive flight for Khrunichev this year alone. The Proton launch was conducted for Americom Asia-Pacific under the auspices of ILS by a combined American and Russian team.
The satellite, built for Americom Asia-Pacific, a joint venture between GE American Communications and Lockheed Martin Global Telecommunications (LMGT) was launched at 4:00 a.m. Baikonur time (6:00 pm October 1, USA EDT) on a Proton /Block DM from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in the Republic of Kazakhstan. Successful spacecraft separation was confirmed approximately 6 hours 40 minutes after lift-off. The spacecraft will provide a broad range of regional telecommunications services.
“This launch marks the continuum of a very dynamic year for ILS and our partner Khrunichev,” said Dr. Mark Albrecht, president of ILS. “ILS, as a world leader of launch services, is proud to contribute together with our customer Americom Asia-Pacific to the advancement of telecommunications services worldwide.
“Today’s launch of GE-1A gives ILS a flawless record of 10 for 10 successful flights for Proton and Atlas since the beginning of the year,” he added.
“Today’s launch characterizes the synergies that three Lockheed Martin companies, ILS, LMGT and Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems, have brought together to launch this satellite for our valued customer Americom Asia-Pacific,” said Ted Gavrilis, president, Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems, Sunnyvale, CA. “We are proud to be part of this exciting event and look forward to achieving mission success on our future endeavors.”
The next Proton/ILS mission is scheduled later this month and will orbit GE-6, a satellite for GE American Communications, Inc. (GE Americom). The Proton is built by Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center at its complex near Moscow, Russian Federation.
Andreas Georghiou, President of Americom Asia-Pacific, who also serves as GE Americom’s Senior Vice President of Global Satellite Services, said “We are delighted with our first-ever launch entrusted to the Proton.” He continued, “With next month’s operation of GE-1A we look forward to realizing our plan to bring high quality Ku-band satellite service to this important region.”
GE-1A, a powerful Ku-band satellite, will be located at 108.2 degrees East longitude and provide service via three beams to greater China, south Asia including India, and northeast Asia and the Philippines. The spacecraft features 28 active 36 MHz Ku-band transponders with 120 watt SSPAs. The GE-1A satellite is an A2100AX spacecraft, manufactured by Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems for a minimum useful life of 15 years. Expected to be fully operational by Nov. 15, 2000, GE-1A will deliver Internet applications, VSAT, data and telecommunications services, DTH and broadcast programming.
Americom Asia-Pacific (AAP) is a 50/50 joint venture company of Lockheed Martin Global Telecommunications, a provider of space-based and terrestrial networking services to customers worldwide, and GE Americom, one of the world’s pioneers in specialized, satellite-based distribution services. Lockheed Martin is providing highly reliable A2100 spacecraft and launch services on behalf of Americom Asia-Pacific, while GE Americom is supplying the orbital slot (108.2 degrees East longitude), satellite telemetry, tracking and control (TT&C) and orbital location services. Formed in 1998, the company will provide high-powered capacity and state-of-the-art services to ISP’s and their customers, programmers, telcos and carriers throughout the Asia-Pacific region. AAP has established its headquarters in Singapore with additional sales and technical support teams in Beijing, Hong Kong and New Delhi.
Headquartered in McLean, VA, USA, International Launch Services is a joint venture stock company established in 1995 to jointly market the Russian-built Proton and the Lockheed Martin-built Atlas to the worldwide satellite launch market. The company currently offers the broadest range of launcher products in the world along with the highest reliability in the industry. ILS is owned by Lockheed Martin Commercial Launch Services (LMCLS) and the Lockheed Khrunichev Energia International (LKEI) joint venture.