by Staff Writers
Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan (SPX) Oct 20, 2011
International Launch Services (ILS), a leading launch services provider for the global commercial satellite industry, successfully carried the ViaSat-1 satellite into orbit today on an ILS Proton for ViaSat, Inc. of Carlsbad, California.
The ILS Proton Breeze M launched from Pad 39 at the Cosmodrome at 12:48 a.m. today local time (2:48 p.m. EST, 18:48 GMT on October 19). After a 9 hour, 12-minute mission, the Breeze M successfully released the ViaSat-1 satellite into geostationary transfer orbit.
This was the 369th launch for Proton since its inaugural flight in 1965, and the 68th ILS Proton launch overall. The Proton Breeze M launch vehicle was developed and built by Khrunichev Research and Production Space Center of Moscow, one of the pillars of the Russian space industry and the majority shareholder in ILS.
ViaSat-1, weighing over 6.7 metric tons, is the highest throughput satellite ever built, with a total capacity in excess of 140 Gbps, more than all satellites covering North America. The all Ka-band satellite will be positioned at 115.1 degrees West longitude with an expected service lifetime of 15 years or more.
ViaSat-1 was built on Space Systems/Loral's space-proven 1300 platform with 72 spot beams; 63 in the U.S. and nine over Canada. The Canadian beams are owned by satellite operator Telesat and will be used for the Xplornet broadband service to consumers in rural Canada. The satellite is designed to deliver service for 15 years or more.
ILS President Frank McKenna said, "It is extremely rewarding to be entrusted to launch our customers' satellites. With this successful launch on ILS Proton, we are able to support ViaSat's innovative plan to enhance and expand high-speed broadband services with the most powerful all Ka-band satellite in the world.
"On behalf of ILS and Khrunichev, we congratulate ViaSat on this milestone achievement and thank the teams of ILS, Khrunichev, ViaSat and Space Systems/Loral for a job well done."
"The successful ILS Proton launch of ViaSat-1 is a crucial part of our growth strategy to allow customers to be connected anywhere at any time and at higher speeds.
"This much anticipated launch is an integral step in paving the way for more affordable and better quality bandwidth to meet consumer's increasing demands. We applaud the teams at ILS, Khrunichev and Space System's Loral who worked tirelessly to ensure a flawless mission and launch," said ViaSat-1 CEO, Mark Dankberg.
ViaSat-1 Broadband Satellite Successfully Performs Post-Launch Maneuver
The satellite was successfully launched yesterday from the Baikonur Space Center in Kazakhstan aboard a Proton Breeze M launch vehicle provided by International Launch Services (ILS).
The satellite deployed its solar arrays early this morning according to schedule, and tomorrow it will begin firing its main thruster to maneuver into geostationary orbit.
"The successful launch of ViaSat-1 is the culmination of well over one and a half million labor hours of hard work," said John Celli, president of Space Systems/Loral.
"With four decades of experience building broadband and Ka-band satellites, Space Systems/Loral has been pleased to play a role in another important next step in the evolution of satellite broadband."
ViaSat-1 is an all Ka-band, high-throughput broadband satellite that is designed to provide more than 140 gigabits per second throughput, mostly for use in the West Coast of the U.S. and in the Eastern half of the U.S.
The satellite will be positioned at 115.1 degrees West longitude. It has 72 spot beams, with 63 in the U.S. and nine over Canada. The Canadian beams are owned by satellite operator Telesat and will be used for the Xplornet broadband service to consumers in rural Canada.
"ViaSat-1 is designed to transform the economics and quality of service that satellite broadband can provide," said Mark Dankberg, chief executive officer of ViaSat.
"We would like to thank Space Systems/Loral and ILS for the hard work and expertise that has helped us to reach this milestone."
ViaSat-1 is based on SS/L's highly reliable 1300 space-proven platform, which has the scale to support the large amount of spot beams, equipment and thermal dissipation required by high throughput satellites.
The spacecraft is designed to deliver service for 15 years or more. With this launch, there are 66 SS/L-built 1300 satellites currently on orbit.
Launch Pad at Space-Travel.com
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Final checks for first Soyuz launch from Kourou
Kourou, French Guiana (AFP) Oct 20, 2011
Launch directors on Thursday were running through the last checks for the maiden liftoff of Soyuz, the legendary Soviet-Russian rocket, from Europe's base in French Guiana. Soyuz is due to lift off at 7:34 a.m. (1034 GMT) on Thursday, carrying the first satellites in the Galileo project, Europe's 5.4-billion-euro (7.2-billion-dollar) answer to the US Global Positioning System (GPS). The ... read more
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