ILS to Launch Amazonas Satellite in HISPASAT's 3rd Mission with ILS
MADRID, Spain, 09-SEP-03 -- International Launch Services (ILS) of the United States will launch the Amazonas satellite for HISPASAT of Spain on a Proton/Breeze M vehicle next year under a contract announced today. This is the third launch pairing for HISPASAT and ILS, who saw the successful flights of HISPASAT 1C in 2000 and HISPASAT 1D in 2002 on Atlas IIAS vehicles from Cape Canaveral, Fla.
The Amazonas launch, planned for mid-2004, is scheduled to be the first Proton mission for HISPASAT. The heavy-lift Proton vehicle, with the proven Breeze M upper stage, will lift off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The launch will follow several launches from other international satellite operators.
Amazonas will be the biggest of the HISPASAT fleet that will cover Brazil and the rest of America, Europe and Northern Africa with transatlantic and Pan-American capacity. Amazonas will therefore be the first satellite conceived and designed for Latin America with coverage and power appropriate for the specific needs of satellite communication in the region. With this satellite, HISPASAT has plans to offer a wide range of services including the traditional satellite telecommunication services as well as content broadcasting, Internet access and broadband services..
The chosen configuration is a satellite with 32 active transponders in Ku-band and 19 active transponders in C-band. The Astrium platform is the Eurostar 3000 and it will have an operating life of 15 years and a total launching mass of approximately 4,600 kg. This type of spacecraft is currently scheduled to be launched by Proton/Breeze M in late 2003 for another customer's mission.
The Latin American market, where HISPASAT will launch this new communications satellite, takes on essential strategic value for the future of HISPASAT. And this is not only because of historic, cultural and linguistic ties with America, but also because of the extraordinary contribution that the communication satellites can make for its future economic and social development, said HISPASAT CEO Jacinto Garc?a Palacios.
ILS is honored to be selected by HISPASAT to provide launch services for Amazonas, another critical commercial satellite for HISPASAT's expanding business, said ILS President Mark Albrecht. It is therefore with great pride for ILS - and for our shareholders Lockheed Martin of the U.S. and Khrunichev of Russia -- that we continue the partnership for a third consecutive launch. This mission brings us together not only with HISPASAT, but also with HISPASAT's broad base of European and Latin America partners and shareholders in the Amazonas program.
ILS is a joint venture of Lockheed Martin and Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center of Russia. ILS offers the broadest range of launch services in the world along with products with the highest reliability in the industry. ILS' Atlas rockets and their Centaur upper stages are built by Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co. The three-stage Proton and the Breeze M upper stage are assembled by Khrunichev at its plant near Moscow. For more information, visit www.ilslaunch.com.
HISPASAT, the Spanish satellite telecommunications operator, manages the 30 degrees West and 61degrees West orbital positions, from where its satellite system operates as an ideal vehicle for communication on both sides of the Atlantic, taking care of the communication needs of European and American telecommunication companies and radio broadcasting firms. HISPASAT leaves its mark on Europe, Northern Africa and America with broadcasting power and maximum flexibility. This large capacity has enabled HISPASAT to position itself as an operator of reference in the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking markets by playing an important role in television and radio broadcasting as well as in the development of digital TV.