ILS launches AsiaSat 9 satellite


International Launch Services (ILS) has launched the new AsiaSat 9 satellite into orbit from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

An ILS Proton M launch vehicle has lifted off the satellite on behalf of Hong Kong-based firm Asia Satellite Telecommunications Company (AsiaSat).

During the launch, the first three stages of the Proton rocket ascended normally to place the orbital unit, which includes the rocket’s Breeze M upper stage and the satellite, into a sub-orbital trajectory.

“This is our fifth launch with AsiaSat over our long history with them, having launched over half of AsiaSat’s operational fleet.”

After placing the unit into the sub-orbital trajectory, the Breeze M performed planned mission manoeuvres to put the unit into a geosynchronous transfer orbit.

Separation of the AsiaSat 9 occurred as planned in 9h 13min after lift-off.

ILS president Kirk Pysher said: “This is our fifth launch with AsiaSat over our long history with them, having launched over half of AsiaSat’s operational fleet.”

The AsiaSat 9 is built by Space Systems Loral (SSL) and designed to provide improved performance, efficiency and flexibility for DTH, video distribution, VSAT broadband and mobility services.

The satellite will replace the AsiaSat 4 satellite at 122°E with multiple C, Ku and Ka-band payloads. It is also equipped with dedicated Ku-band beams for Myanmar, Indonesia and Mongolia.

The AsiaSat 9 also features two improved Ku-band beams to serve Australasia and East Asia, as well as a wider high-power C-band beam to serve the Asia-Pacific region.  

All the five Ku-band beams onboard the AsiaSat 9 are equipped with cross-strap beam switching capability to offer flexible coverage.