First Proton Launch of the Year; 85th ILS Proton Launch Overall
BAIKONUR COSMODROME, Kazakhstan--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- International Launch Services (ILS), a leader in providing mission integration and launch services to the global commercial satellite industry, successfully launched the TURKSAT-4A satellite into orbit today on an ILS Proton vehicle. The satellite was built by Mitsubishi Electric Corporation for TURKSAT Satellite Communication, Cable TV and Operation Inc. Co. (TURKSAT A.S.), one of the world’s leading operators in the satellite communication business. This was the first ILS Proton launch for both the satellite operator and the manufacturer; it was also the first Proton launch of the year.
ILS Proton successfully orbited the TURKSAT 4A satellite for Turksat on February 15, 2013 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. (Photo: Business Wire)
The ILS Proton Breeze M vehicle launched from Pad 24 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome at 03:09 today local time (14 February: 21:09 GMT and 16:09 EST). The first three stages of the Proton used a standard ascent profile to place the orbital unit (Breeze M upper stage and the TURKSAT-4A satellite) into a sub-orbital trajectory. From this point in the mission, the Breeze M performed planned mission maneuvers to advance the orbital unit first to a circular parking orbit, then to an intermediate orbit, followed by a transfer orbit, and finally to a geostationary transfer orbit. Separation of the TURKSAT-4A satellite occurred approximately 9 hours and 13 minutes after liftoff.
TURKSAT-4A will provide telecommunication and direct TV broadcasting services over a wide geographic region between west of China and east of England, spanning Turkey, as well as Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa. TURKSAT-4A is a multi-band satellite with an expected on-orbit maneuver lifespan of 30 years. The satellite will provide high flexibility of switchability and connectivity among different service areas to its customers.
The satellite weighed 4.8 metric tons at liftoff and is the ninth satellite built on Mitsubishi Electric’s DS2000 platform, a fully proven modular platform with the flexibility to handle a broad range of payload applications.
ILS President Phil Slack stated, “This is the first ILS Proton launch for our partners, Mitsubishi Electric and TURKSAT, and we are happy to have such a strong foundation for our new relationship. We are honored to be entrusted to deliver our customers’ satellites to orbit. Thank you to all of the teams at Mitsubishi Electric, TURKSAT, Khrunichev, and ILS, who have made this launch a success.”
Ozkan Dalbay, TURKSAT A.S. CEO and Chairman of the Board, said, “The TURKSAT-4A satellite will increase coverage and enhance customer services across Turkey as well as through areas of Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Today's launch is a significant milestone that strengthens our ties with both ILS and Khrunichev. Thank you to everyone involved in the success of this launch.”
Mitsubishi Electric General Manager of Space Systems Division, Yasunori Kamochi added, “We appreciate that through ILS’ conscientious efforts, they conducted a flawless mission leading to the successful launch of TURKSAT 4A, our first Proton launch. We are certain that ILS’ assurance in quality and scheduling will allow our customer to engage its satellite mission in a timely manner. We would like to thank everyone involved with the TURKSAT-4A launch for their diligence and outstanding capabilities.”
This was the 85th ILS Proton Launch and the 394th launch for Proton overall 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 shareholder in ILS.
About ILS and Khrunichev
ILS is a world leader in providing launch services for global satellite operators and offers a complete array of services and support, from contract signing through mission management and on-orbit delivery. ILS has exclusive rights to market the Proton vehicle to commercial satellite operators worldwide and is a U.S. company headquartered in Reston, VA., near Washington, D.C. For more information, visit www.ilslaunch.com.
Khrunichev, which holds the majority interest in ILS, is one of the cornerstones of the Russian space industry. Khrunichev manufactures the Proton system and is developing the Angara launch system. The Proton launches from facilities at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, and has a heritage of more than 390 missions since 1965. Khrunichev includes, among its branches, a number of key manufacturers of launch vehicle and spacecraft components in Moscow and in other cities of the Russian Federation. For more information, visit www.khrunichev.com.
About TURKSAT A.S
TURKSAT A.S., a satellite operator company in Turkey, manages and operates its satellites and provides all types of satellite communications through TURKSAT and other satellites. With its high-tech infrastructure and experienced staff, TURKSAT A.S. is one of the world’s leading operators in the satellite communication business. Through innovative projects to meet the communication demands of the communities in the East hemisphere, TURKSAT A.S. provides services not only for Turkey, but also for people all over the world. For more information, visit www.turksat.com.tr
About Mitsubishi Electric
With over 90 years of experience in providing reliable, high-quality products to both corporate clients and general consumers all over the world, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (TOKYO: 6503) is contributing to creating a vibrant and affluent society by enhancing its technologies, services, and creative powers, as a leader in the manufacture and sales of electric and electronic equipment used in Energy and Electric Systems, Industrial Automation, Information and Communication Systems including satellite systems, satellite components and ground systems, Electronic Devices, and Home Appliances. The company recorded consolidated group sales of 3,567.2 billion yen (US$ 37.9 billion*) in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2013. For more information visit http://global.mitsubishielectric.com
*At an exchange rate of 94 yen to the US dollar, the rate given by the Tokyo Foreign Exchange Market on March 31, 2013.
Source: International Launch Services