All went well with ILS's Proton soaring with AsiaSat 9, the company's largest satellite to date, which will replace AsiaSat 4.
International Launch Services' Statement
BAIKONUR COSMODROME, Kazakhstan—International Launch Services (ILS), a leader in providing launch services to the global commercial satellite industry, successfully carried the AsiaSat 9 satellite into orbit today on an ILS Proton for Asia Satellite Telecommunications Company Limited (AsiaSat) of Hong Kong. This was the 3rd commercial mission of the year for ILS and the 96th ILS Proton launch overall.
The Proton M launch vehicle, utilizing a 5-burn Breeze M mission design, lifted off from Pad 39 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 00:52 a.m. today local time (2:52 a.m. in Hong Kong; 6:52 p.m. GMT and 2:52 p.m. ET on September 28) with the AsiaSat 9 satellite on board. The first three stages of the Proton used a standard ascent profile to place the orbital unit (Breeze M upper stage and the AsiaSat 9 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 nearly circular parking orbit, then to an intermediate orbit, followed by a transfer orbit, and finally to a geosynchronous transfer orbit. Separation of the AsiaSat 9 satellite occurred as planned, 9 hours, 13 minutes after lift-off.
This was the 416th launch for Proton since its maiden flight in 1965. The Proton Breeze M vehicle is developed and built by Khrunichev Space Center of Moscow.
Built by SSL (Space Systems Loral), AsiaSat 9 will provide enhanced performance, higher efficiency and greater flexibility for DTH, video distribution, VSAT broadband and mobility services. AsiaSat 9 is a replacement satellite for AsiaSat 4 at 122 degrees E with multiple C-, Ku- and Ka-band payloads. It carries the world’s first dedicated Ku-band Myanmar beam, new Ku-band beams for Indonesia and Mongolia, in addition to two enhanced Ku-band beams serving Australasia and East Asia and a wider high-power C-band coverage across the Asia-Pacific region. The five Ku-band beams onboard AsiaSat 9 are equipped with cross-strap beam switching capability to provide flexible coverage.
ILS President Kirk Pysher said, “This is our 5th launch with AsiaSat over our long history with them, having launched over half of AsiaSat’s operational fleet. We are proud to have played a key role in the growth of AsiaSat’s business over the years. We appreciate the AsiaSat, ILS, Khrunichev, SSL mission teams for their dedication to ensuring a successful launch.”
“With Proton’s unique optimized delivery to orbit, extending the lifetime of the AsiaSat 9 satellite, AsiaSat is once again creating exceptional value for our services in Asia,” said Andrew Jordan, President and Chief Executive Officer of AsiaSat. “AsiaSat 9 will provide additional and enhanced services to a wide region of Asia and some ground-breaking capabilities in power and efficiency in some new regions. Sincere thanks to all of the AsiaSat 9 team members for a perfect mission and launch.”