OTTAWA, Ontario, March 19, 2003 — International Launch Services (ILS) finalized a contract with Telesat this week to launch the Anik F1R satellite on a Russian Proton rocket in 2005. The deal includes an option for launching an additional satellite. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are extremely pleased to be working with International Launch Services – our partner in the successful launch of both our direct broadcast satellites, Nimiq 1 and Nimiq 2," said Larry Boisvert, Telesat's president and CEO. "ILS offered Telesat the right blend of experience, innovation and ease of doing business, and we look forward to working with their team once again."
The contract follows by less than three months the launch of Telesat's Nimiq 2 satellite in the first commercial flight of the Proton M/Breeze M configuration of the vehicle. The rocket lifted off Dec. 30 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, in ILS' 10th and final mission of 2002. The Anik F1R launch will also use a Proton/Breeze M vehicle.
"We thank Telesat for its continued confidence in ILS and the Proton," ILS President Mark Albrecht said. "We're determined to make this a triple-header – Telesat's third mission with ILS, its third on a Proton and it will be the third success!"
The satellite is a Eurostar 3000 model being built by Astrium, Europe's largest space company. This type of spacecraft is currently being integrated on a Proton/Breeze M for another customer's mission.
ILS is a joint venture of Lockheed Martin Corp. (NYSE:LMT) in the United States, which builds the Atlas rocket; and Russian companies Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center and RSC Energia. Khrunichev produces the Proton vehicles and the Breeze M upper stage.