Proton-M ILV carrying EchoStar XXI satellite to launch on 8 June


The launch of Russia’s Proton-M ILV rocket carrying the EchoStar XXI commercial telecommunications satellite from Baikonur spaceport has been scheduled for 8 June.

The almost-7,000kg EchoStar XXI is manufactured by SSL for US-based global satellite operator EchoStar, reported Spacenews.com.

Contracted through International Launch Services, a US-Russian subsidiary of Khrunichev, the Proton-M integrated launch vehicle is scheduled to lift off at 06:45 Moscow time, and the Breeze M upper-stage will deliver the satellite to the orbit. 

Operations to integrate the spacecraft, adapter system, upper stage and the payload fairing have already been undertaken at the payload processing facility.

Fuelling of Breeze M fueling is scheduled for 4 June.

The launch was earlier scheduled for 28 December last year, but the date has been postponed after a request from the Khrunichev Space Center (KhSC) in Kazakhstan, reported Telecompaper.com.

The EchoStar XXI will provide mobile satellite communication for Europe. It will also be the sixth satellite in EchoStar’s orbital constellation lifted off by Proton vehicle.

A part of the ROSCOSMOS State Corporation, KhSC designs and manufactures the Proton system, the Breeze M upper-stage, and the Angara family of vehicles.

Since 1965, the Proton vehicle family has undertaken 412 missions.