ILS Proton Lofts Telstar 14R Satellite for Telesat

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PARIS — An International Launch Services (ILS) Proton rocket on May 21 successfully placed the Telesat Telstar 14R/Estrela do Sul 2 telecommunications satellite into orbit from Russia’s Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Commercial satellite fleet operator Telesat of Canada will operate the satellite at 63 degrees west over the Americas, where it will replace the Telstar 14/Estrela do Sul satellite currently at that orbital position.

Telstar 14R weighed about 5,000 kilograms at launch and carries 46 Ku-band transponders — 27 on fixed beams and 19 on steerable beams. When considered in 36-megahertz equivalents, the payload counts 58 transponders.

Telstar 14R was built by Space Systems/Loral of Palo Alto, Calif., using that company’s SS/L 1300 satellite frame. It is designed to provide 12 kilowatts of power to the payload at the end of a service life estimated at 15 years at a minimum.

Reston, Va.-based ILS, which is owned by Proton manufacturer Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center of Moscow, said it planned two launches this summer.

In mid-July a Proton is scheduled to carry two telecommunications satellites into geostationary transfer orbit at the same time — something it rarely does. The two spacecraft, both lighter than the average telecommunications satellite, are the SES-3 satellite owned by SES of Luxembourg and the KazSat-2 satellite owned by the Kazakh government.

The launch will be followed later this summer by the 6,000-kilogram ViaSat-1 Ka-band consumer broadband satellite, owned by ViaSat Corp. of Carlsbad, Calif.