BAIKONUR COSMODROME, Kazakhstan --- International Launch Services (ILS) has successfully inserted the EUTELSAT 5 West B and the Mission Extension Vehicle-1 (MEV-1) satellites into their planned Super Synchronous Transfer Orbits (SSTO) for Eutelsat of Paris, France, and Space Logistics LLC of Dulles, Virginia.
Today’s launch was the 97th ILS Proton mission and over 420 Proton launches overall. It is the eighth Eutelsat satellite launched on an ILS Proton and the first Space Logistics LLC satellite launched on an ILS Proton. It was also the second ILS dual launch, and the first dual launch with two commercial satellites.
The Proton Breeze M, utilizing a 5-burn SSTO mission design, launched from Pad 39 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome on 9 October at 15:17 local time (10:17 GMT and 06:17 EDT). The satellites are both manufactured by Northrop Grumman and based on the GeoStar-2 (EUTELSAT 5 West B) and GeoStar-3 (MEV-1) platforms. The two spacecraft, making up the Integrated Payload Stack, weighed 5,190 kg at liftoff, and were separated 15 hours, 36 minutes (EUTELSAT 5 West B) and 15 hours, 54 minutes (MEV-1) after liftoff. Operators at the Northrop Grumman operations center in Dulles, Virginia acquired the spacecraft’s first telemetry from orbit shortly after separation.
EUTELSAT 5 West B is a Ku-band satellite that will be located at 5° West, a key video neighborhood addressing predominantly French, Italian and Algerian broadcast markets. The new satellite will provide business continuity and improved quality for these markets via a Ku band payload of 35 equivalent 36 MHz transponders connected to three service areas. Switchable transponders will also increase commercial flexibility.
MEV-1 will deliver a groundbreaking on-orbit servicing satellite life-extension through Northrop Grumman’s wholly-owned subsidiary Space Logistics LLC. MEV-1 will dock to client vehicles in geosynchronous orbit to provide attitude and orbit control of the combined vehicle stack. MEV-1 has the ability to dock and undock several times during its 15 year design life, allowing it to service multiple customers. Space Logistics LLC’s initial service, using MEV-1, will extend the life of the Intelsat 901 satellite for five years.
Since its maiden flight in 1965, the workhorse Proton vehicle has demonstrated its versatility, maturity and performance to inject spacecraft into a wide variety of orbits for a diverse customer base. The Proton Breeze M vehicle is developed and built by Khrunichev Research and Production Space Center (Khrunichev) of Moscow, Russia’s premier space industry manufacturer and majority shareholder in ILS.
ILS provides launch services for satellite operators and offers a complete array of services and support, from contract arrangements, mission management and on-orbit delivery. ILS markets the Proton Breeze M and Angara 1.2 launch services to commercial and government satellite operators worldwide. ILS is a U.S. company headquartered in Reston, VA, near Washington, D.C.