The 20 kilowatt satellite will provide redundancy for DIRECTV Latin America’s distribution services in South America and the Caribbean.
The launch had been delayed after a fault with a connector on the flight vehicle. The ground system had earlier been identified as the cause of the problem.
Intelsat 31 was launched from the Proton Breeze M launch vehicle, utilising a 5-burn Breeze M Supersynchronous Transfer Orbit (SSTO) mission design. It lifted off from Pad 24 at 13:10 local time (3:10 ET, 07:10 GMT).
“A launch is always a culmination of years of hard work and dedication that begin with the design and manufacture of the satellite up to its delivery to orbit. We appreciate all of the teams who worked with us to make this program another success, including ILS and Khrunichev for ensuring a successful launch,” said Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Thierry Guillemin.
It was the third Proton launch this year and the 12th for Intelsat on ILS Proton.
ILS President Kirk Pysher said, “Our partnership with Intelsat spans 18 years with 12 of their satellites launched to date by Proton with the launch of Intelsat 31. We look forward to extending our partnership further with more launches over the coming years under our Multi Launch Agreement with Intelsat. Each and every team member should be commended for their contributions to the success of the Intelsat 31 mission.”
The Proton Breeze M vehicle is built by Khrunichev State Research and Space Production Center (Khrunichev) of Moscow, one of the pillars of the aerospace industry and majority owner of ILS. Proton has a heritage of 412 missions since its maiden flight in 1965.