ILS launches Echostar XXI satellite into space


International Launch Services (ILS) has launched an EchoStar XXI satellite into space from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Launched aboard a Proton Breeze M rocket, the satellite will be operated by the US-based satellite communication provider EchoStar.

After completing the planned mission manoeuvres, the rocket finally placed the satellite to a geosynchronous transfer orbit.

It took around 9h and 13min for the satellite to separate from its launch vehicle.

“We have been honoured to have served EchoStar for nearly 20 years now, dating back to the launch of the EchoStar IV satellite on Proton in 1998."

The latest mission represents the heaviest launch performed by an ILS Proton rocket, which has been developed and built by Russia’s Khrunichev Space Centre.

Built by SSL, the 7t S-band satellite has been designed to provide mobile connectivity throughout Europe and will be placed at the 10.25° East orbital slot.

ILS president Kirk Pysher said: “We have been honoured to have served EchoStar for nearly 20 years now, dating back to the launch of the EchoStar IV satellite on Proton in 1998."

According to EchoStar, its newly launched satellite will offer expanded capacity to the EchoStar Mobile programme developed for commercial wholesalers.

It will also offer a new, advanced network for reliable, IP-based MSS voice and data services in Europe.