Japanese swap Atlas for Proton

by Chris Bergin

The Japanese JSAT Corporation have annonced a new deal with ILS (International Launch Services) for the launch of their JCSAT-11 satellite on a Proton Breeze M launch vehicle from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, set for launch in 2007.

Their fourth mission with ILS, JSAT have swtiched to the Pronton Breeze M after their three previous missions were launched on ILS Atlas vehicles from Cape Canaveral in Florida.

‘ILS has been a launch partner with JSAT since 1995,’ said ILS President Mark Albrecht in an announcement on Monday in Washington, DC. ‘We appreciate JSAT’s confidence that the Proton Breeze M will be as reliable as the Atlas vehicles that launched the JCSAT 3, 4 and 6 satellites.’

Proton vehicles launched seven times in 2005, four times with ILS commercial missions and three times for the Russian government. The Proton Breeze M configuration has a 100 percent success rate in 13 missions.

JCSAT-11 is an A2100 model satellite built by Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems. ILS Proton vehicles have launched eight of this model already, ‘and we’ll be welcoming the Lockheed Martin spacecraft team back to Baikonur four more times in the next two years, including for JCSAT-11,’ Albrecht said.

JSAT noted the punctuality and reliability of the Proton during a busy 2005 for the Russian spaceport helped convince them to change their launch vehicle preference.

‘We chose the ILS Proton because it has the demonstrated reliability and launch tempo that JSAT established as criteria for the JCSAT-11 program. It is important for our company’s business plan to launch JCSAT-11 in 2007 in order to enhance the security and versatility of our satellite system,’ Kiyoshi Isozaki, president and CEO of JSAT Corporation.

‘We are pleased with the substantial flexibility ILS offers us. We are also honored to become the first Japanese satellite operator to ride on a Russian-built vehicle.’

JSAT Corporation is a leading satellite operator in the Asia-Pacific region. The company owns and operates nine satellites in eight orbital slots, covering North America, Hawaii, Asia and Oceania.

JSAT provides a range of services, including digital CS broadcasting service, SKY PerfecTV! satellite TV broadcasting, video and data broadcasting services for corporate and inter-company networks and international telecommunications services.

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