ILS and EchoStar Satellite Services Announce Launch Contract
International Launch Services (ILS) of Reston, VA and EchoStar Satellite Services of Englewood, Colorado, announce a new launch service award for the ILS Proton launch of a future heavy-lift mission.
A satellite, weighing more than 6900 kg, is planned to be launched into geostationary transfer orbit on an ILS Proton Breeze M in the late 2015 or early 2016 timeframe from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
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The Proton vehicle is Russia’s premier heavy lift launcher and is built by Khrunichev Research and Space Production Center of Moscow. Khrunichev is the majority shareholder of ILS and one of the pillars of the Russian space industry. Proton has a long heritage with 385 launches performed since the inaugural flight in 1965. To date, there have been five EchoStar satellites launched on an ILS Proton rocket.
ILS President Phil Slack said, “Less than six months ago, we launched the EchoStar XVI satellite, EchoStar’s 5th launch on an ILS Proton; in fact, it was fifteen years ago this month when we launched EchoStar IV, ILS’ first launch for EchoStar. We are honored to be selected for this upcoming Proton launch and look forward to collaborating with EchoStar on this important mission.”
“We are pleased to continue our longstanding successful collaboration with the ILS and Khrunichev team and are confident in their commitment to mission success. This agreement provides the necessary flexibility and schedule assurance we require for the execution of our fleet expansion programs,” said President of EchoStar Satellite Services, Anders Johnson.
Source : International Launch Services