End of Another Successful Mission

After the very smooth and successful launch of Nimiq 5 yesterday, the remaining members of the mission team celebrated with an excellent banquet. The kitchen staff have outdone themselves again. The mission team will use the rest of the weekend to pack-up, with the backhaul Antonov on Saturday and the close out of the offices on Sunday morning. Monday morning sees everyone to Moscow. We will miss all of the friends we have a made and renewed over the last six weeks as we head back to our homes in various parts of the United States and the world. We would like to thank and congratulate everyone involved in the Nimiq 5 program for a job well done and the campaign team for an extremely smooth and easy launch campaign. Three times seems to be a charm for Space System/Loral campaigns. Congratulations!

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ILS Proton Successfully Launches Nimiq 5 Satellite

BAIKONUR COSMODROME, Kazakhstan, September 18, 2009 –International Launch Services (ILS), a world leader in providing mission and launch services to the commercial satellite industry, successfully carried the Nimiq 5 satellite into orbit today on an ILS Proton for Telesat, the fourth largest fixed satellite services operator worldwide. This was the fifth commercial mission of the year for ILS and the seventh successful Proton launch of 2009. With the launch of Nimiq 5 today, ILS has launched half of Telesat’s operational fleet.

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Nimiq 5 Third and Fourth Burn Completion

We have confirmed that the Breeze M upper stage has successfully completed its 3rd & 4th burns, as well as jettisoning its additional propellant tank. The vehicle is now in a 5-hour coast period, during which we will have nothing to report. The 5th burn is scheduled to start around 12:12 AM EDT, or 04:12 GMT. Separation of the Nimiq 5 spacecraft is scheduled to follow the 5th burn completion by about 15 minutes.

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Nimiq 5 Second Burn Completion

As the Breeze M upper stage of our Proton M rocket continues its climb into space with the Nimiq 5 satellite, we have received confirmation that the 2nd burn of the upper stage occurred and shut down as scheduled. The next events are scheduled for about 2 hours from now. The Breeze M upper stage will ignite for a 3rd time and burn for approximately 14 minutes; after that the additional propellant tank will be jettisoned, and the 4th burn will start and complete. All this will happen in a span of almost 20 minutes while the vehicle is again out of range of a ground station. We should reacquire the vehicle shortly after the 4th burn ends.

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Nimiq 5 First Burn Completion

We have received confirmation of completion of the first burn. The vehicle is now scheduled to be out of range for about an hour, after which we will hear confirmation of the second burn.

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Nimiq 5 Stage Separations

We had a successful liftoff about 12 minutes ago of our Proton M Breeze M rocket, which is carrying the Nimiq 5 satellite. The three stages of the Proton vehicle have performed as planned, and it is up to the Breeze M upper stage to complete the mission. The upper stage has begun its first burn, which is scheduled to last around 7 minutes.

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Nimiq 5 Mission Success!

We have had a successful mission with the Proton M Breeze M rocket, carrying the Nimiq 5 satellite built by Space Systems Loral for Telesat. We have had confirmation that the satellite separated from the vehicle on schedule at 12:34 AM EDT, or 04:34 GMT, 9 hours and 15 minutes after liftoff. Everything occurred as planned with ignition, shutdown and separation of the Proton’s first three stages. Then the Breeze M upper stage with the satellite continued the mission, igniting five times, and then releasing the satellite into transfer orbit.

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Ready to Launch

With less than three days before launch, the launch vehicle has been fully integrated, the Breeze M fuelled, and the integrated launch vehicle rolled out to Pad 39. Monday graced us with beautiful skies for the verticalization of the ILV. The whole team trooped out to witness this amazing feat of engineering, as well as to get a group photo in front of the erected launcher. The management has done their interviews for the launch broadcast, logistics is getting everything organized for the backhaul on Saturday, the countdown rehearsal is underway and the final integrated launch pad tests are taking place. The checklist is being checked and everything is in order. We look forward to the blessing of the rocket and arrival of the VIP group on Thursday, leading up to a launch at 01:19:19 on Friday local Baikonur time.

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For the latest news and information, or if you have a question, please email ILS at contactus@ilslaunch.com