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ILS Proton Successfully Launches ASTRA 1M Satellite

File image.
by Staff Writers
Baikonur, Kazakhstan (SPX) Nov 07, 2008
A Proton Breeze M launch vehicle successfully lifted the ASTRA 1M satellite into orbit today, marking the fifth mission of the year for International Launch Services (ILS).

The Proton vehicle lifted off from Pad 39 at the cosmodrome at 2:44 a.m. today local time (3:44 p.m. EST Wednesday, 20:44 GMT Wednesday). After a 9-hour-12-minute mission, the launcher released the satellite into a geosynchronous transfer orbit.

The satellite will eventually go into operation at 19.2 degrees East longitude for SES ASTRA of Luxembourg.

Proton is Russia's premier heavy-launch vehicle, and is manufactured by Khrunichev Space Center of Moscow. Khrunichev is the majority owner of ILS.

The ASTRA 1M mission is the third launch for ILS since mid-August. Although the satellites were for different customers, all three were built on the Eurostar 3000 bus by EADS Astrium of France. In addition to the ILS launches, there was one Russian federal mission on Proton during that time frame as well.

"SES is a long-time customer, and in fact was the first ILS customer to launch on Proton," said ILS President Frank McKenna. "We thank SES for its confidence in Proton and for supporting us during our return-to-flight activities, the implementation of the Khrunichev Quality Initiative and now the successful launch of ASTRA 1M."

"We are very proud and satisfied that the ASTRA 1M launch has been a success," said Ferdinand Kayser, president and CEO of SES ASTRA.

"ASTRA 1M will benefit our customers and allow them to broadcast additional high-definition channels. The success of the ASTRA 1M launch is an important milestone for SES ASTRA and we would like to underline the very good cooperation with our launch partners, International Launch Services and EADS ASTRIUM."

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Russia Set To Launch SES Telecoms Satellite
Moscow (RIA Novosti) Nov 06, 2008
Russia will launch on Wednesday a Proton-M carrier rocket with an Astra 1M satellite on board, a Russian spacecraft manufacturer said.

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