International Launch Services (ILS) kicked off its next Proton launch campaign this week with the arrival Tuesday of the satellite payload, Arabsat's BADR-4, at the Baikonur Cosmodrome.
With the delivery of the Proton's Breeze M upper stage today, all flight hardware is in place for the scheduled Nov. 9 launch. The liftoff time is 2:01 a.m. in Baikonur, 20:01 Nov. 8 GMT and 3:01 p.m. Nov. 8 EST.
The BADR-4 launch will be followed in about a month by another ILS Proton mission, with the MEASAT-3 satellite. The Russian government also has scheduled the launch of a GLONASS navigation satellite on a Proton vehicle in December, making for a busy fourth quarter.
"We are committed to successfully delivering our customers' satellites to orbit on schedule with the Proton launch system," said Frank McKenna, ILS president.
The BADR-4 satellite is an Astrium Eurostar E2000+ model, the third Eurostar satellite to be launched this year on Proton. Astrium contracted with ILS for the launch on behalf of the end-user, Arabsat.
The spacecraft is a multipurpose communications satellite designed to serve the Arab countries and neighboring regions. The Ku-band payload will carry direct-to-home, interactive TV and internet broadband services, with additional capacity to accommodate anticipated demand for high-definition TV.
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