(From Khrunichev Press Release)
BAIKONUR COSMODROME, Kazakhstan, October 18, 2010 —The launch campaign for the tenth Proton mission in 2010 has officially started in Baikonur with the arrival of the SkyTerra 1 spacecraft. This campaign started only three days after the completion of the prior commercial Proton mission lofting the SIRIUS XM-5 satellite for SIRIUS XM Radio.
SkyTerra 1 was delivered to Baikonur by a Polyot-run Antonov 124 aircraft that landed today at the Yubileiny airport. The launch of the satellite onboard a Proton M/ Breeze M integrated launch vehicle is scheduled for mid-November.
SkyTerra was built by Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems for LightSquared, a North American communications operator and a provider of telecommunications services across America. The launch is contracted by International Launch Services (ILS). ILS, a U.S. company, has exclusive rights to market the Proton vehicle to commercial satellite operators worldwide.
Currently, the delivered cargo is being processed for transportation at the Integration-and-Test Facility (ITF). U.S. experts will start operations on the spacecraft as soon as the required support equipment has been installed in the ITF clean room in the upcoming days. Khrunichev and their sub-contractors from Roscosmos have already commenced processing the launch vehicle and the Launch Site in compliance with the existing schedule.