Other Contenders Look to the Future

Tiphaine Louradour took over as president of International Launch Services (ILS) in March, just as the pandemic was sweeping the globe. She says she spent her first week as president at the SATELLITE show in Washington D.C., and was in ILS’s office for approximately half of a work day before the company transitioned to remote work. Now, she is video conferencing with customers around the world, instead of traveling for in-person meetings.

ILS, which is based in the U.S. and owned by Russia’s JSC Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center (Khrunichev), has not had a launch since the October 2019 Proton launch for Eutelsat. Louradour, who was previously head of global commercial sales at ULA, has ambitious plans to reclaim ILS’s status in the commercial launch market. The launcher recently received approval from the U.S. State Department to promote commercial launch services on the Soyuz vehicle. There are two federal Proton launches for the Russian government, and several Soyuz launches planned for this year.

Louradour says she is honing a strategy that will push marketing and sales activities, and focus on the reliability of the Proton vehicle. Moving forward, she says she wants to expand ILS’s launch service offerings in order to meet customers broader demands.

“During these uncertain times it is absolutely critical that we work closely with our customers and really understand their needs and challenges,” Louradour says. “And what’s really standing out today is the need to offer flexible, reliable, cost-effective launch solutions. … I believe that is something we’re well-positioned to do going forward with our ability to offer a broader set of launch solutions, working closely with GK Launch Services.”

Source: Excerpt from Via Satellite, http://interactive.satellitetoday.com/via/july-2020/restart-your-engines-launchers-recalibrate-after-pandemic-pause/ by Rachel Jewett

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