An International Launch Services (ILS) Proton vehicle successfully launched the Intelsat 23 satellite from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on the morning of Sunday, October 14.
Liftoff occurred at 2:37 pm local time. The Intelsat 23 satellite separated from the rocket’s upper stage 9 hours and 30 minutes after launch.
As part of Intelsat’s fleet replacement and expansion plans, the Intelsat 23 satellite is scheduled to start service at 307 degrees East in 2012, and will replace the Intelsat 707 satellite.
With an anticipated service life of more than 18 years, Intelsat 23 will provide enhanced capacity for enterprise, oil and gas, and data networking applications. The satellite will provide C-band services to customers in the Americas, Europe and Africa, and Ku-band coverage for Latin America.
“Intelsat 23 will refresh satellite capacity across four continents, offering critical services to the world’s leading communications providers,” said Intelsat CEO David McGlade, in a statement. “This launch continues our current fleet replacement and expansion campaign, which is scheduled for completion in early 2013.”
ILS President Frank McKenna said, “It is an honor to celebrate our landmark 75th commercial launch with Intelsat with the successful launch of the Intelsat 23 satellite. The performance of the ILS Proton vehicle for this near geostationary orbit mission will provide expanded lifetime for the Intelsat 23 satellite. We are pleased to enable the expansion of Intelsat’s fleet and support its plans for continued growth.”
The Proton Breeze M vehicle is built by Khrunichev State Research and Space Production Center of Moscow, one of the pillars of the aerospace industry and majority owner of ILS. Proton has a heritage of 380 missions since its maiden flight in 1965. This was the 6th ILS Proton launch this year.
Built by Orbital Sciences Corporation, Intelsat 23 is the final scheduled launch for Intelsat in 2012. Intelsat 27 is scheduled for launch in the first quarter of 2013. The launch will mark the completion of Intelsat’s global broadband mobility platform.