International Launch Services (ILS), a world leader in providing mission integration and launch services to the global commercial satellite industry, successfully carried the AsiaSat 7 satellite into orbit today on an ILS Proton for Asia Satellite Telecommunications Company Limited (AsiaSat) of Hong Kong. This was the 5th commercial mission of the year for ILS and the 8th Proton launch so far this year.
The ILS Proton Breeze M launched from Pad 39 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome at 1:10 a.m. today local time (3:10 a.m. in Hong Kong, 19:10 GMT and 2:10 p.m. EDT on November 25). After a 9 hour 13 minute 4-burn mission, the Breeze M successfully released the AsiaSat 7 satellite, weighing over 3.8 metric tons, into the planned geostationary transfer orbit. The orbital maneuvering lifetime of the satellite will be extended as a result of the performance and accuracy of the ILS Proton Breeze M launch vehicle.
This was the 371st launch for Proton since its maiden flight in 1965. The Proton Breeze M vehicle is developed and built by Khrunichev Research and Production Space Center of Moscow, Russia's premier space industry manufacturer and majority owner of ILS.
Built by Space Systems/Loral, AsiaSat 7 is designed to replace AsiaSat 3S at the orbital location of 105.5 degrees East providing television broadcast and VSAT network services across the Asia-Pacific region. This new generation satellite will carry 28 C-band, 17 Ku-band transponders and a Ka-band payload. The regional C-band beam covers over 50 countries throughout Asia, the Middle East, Australasia and Central Asia.
Frank McKenna, President of ILS said, "This is our second launch with AsiaSat in just about two years, when we launched the AsiaSat 5 satellite. With this ILS Proton launch of AsiaSat 7, we have again played a pivotal role in AsiaSat's strategic plan for the expansion of their business with our unmatched schedule assurance. My thanks go out to the ILS, Khrunichev, Space Systems/Loral and AsiaSat teams for their tireless efforts in ensuring a successful launch."
"With the launch of AsiaSat 7 on the powerful ILS Proton vehicle, AsiaSat will be able to deliver on our promise to provide high quality and uninterrupted service to our current and potential new customers across Asia, Middle East, and Australasia. Our selection of ILS Proton, providing optimized delivery to orbit, will help extend the lifetime of the satellite, creating exceptional value for our business. Sincere thanks to all of those at ILS, Khrunichev, Space Systems/Loral and AsiaSat, for an outstanding mission and launch," said William Wade, President and Chief Executive Officer of AsiaSat.
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