ILS Proton rocket launches SES-6 satellite to geostationary orbit
Telecommunications satellite SES-6 has been launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan aboard the International Launch Services (ILS) Proton vehicle.
After a 15-hour, 31-minute mission, the SES-6 satellite was successfully placed into geostationary transfer orbit by the Breeze M upper stage of the Proton rocket, a development that marks the completion of second super-synchronous transfer orbit (SSTO) mission with the Proton vehicle for ILS.
Featuring 48 Ku-band and 43 C-band transponders, the SES-6 is built on Astrium's E3000 platform and weighed more than 6t at the time of liftoff.
It is designed for 13kW of spacecraft power at the end of its 15-year lifetime.
The SSTO mission employed a 5-burn Breeze M mission design to raise the orbital unit first to a circular parking orbit, then to an intermediate orbit, followed by a transfer orbit, and to a super-synchronous transfer orbit.
These missions are capable of providing customers with increased performance, enabling maximisation of operational lifetime of spacecraft.
The SES-6 is the fourth mission to be launched by ILS as part of a multi-launch agreement (MLA) signed in June 2007 between SES and ILS.
It is the 22nd SES satellite launched on an ILS Proton and the 16th Astrium-built satellite launched on ILS Proton Breeze M vehicle, which was developed by Khrunichev State Research and Space Production Center of Moscow.
The satellite is planned to replace the existing NSS-806 at the prime orbital location 40.5° W, and will provide enhanced capacity over North and South America, the Caribbean, Europe and the Atlantic Ocean regions.
The expanded payload of the satellite will also support direct-to-home (DTH) and very small aperture terminal (VSAT) platforms in emerging markets.
Following the launch, SES announced the Brazilian telecommunication firm Oi as a new anchor customer, which signed a long-term agreement to provide DTH services in Brazil, a development that makes Oi the largest user of the new satellite.
Image: The SES-6, which is built on Astrium's E3000 platform, carried 48 Ku-band and 43 C-band transponders and weighed more than 6t at liftoff. Photo: courtesy of ILS International Launch Services Inc.