International Launch Services expects its new, scaled-down variant of Proton-M to be a more direct competitor with SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket than the current heavy-lift version ILS has used for decades.
International Launch Services completed its third and final 2017 commercial Proton mission today, launching the AsiaSat-9 telecommunications satellite from the Baikonur Cosmodrome.
Speaking at the World Satellite Business Week in Paris Sept. 12, top executives of the world’s five leading launch service providers agreed that the future small-satellite launch market will favor ridesharing and customized services on larger launch vehicles rather than tailored launches by the newcomers
Russia’s Proton rocket returned to service June 7, almost one year to the date from vehicle’s last flight, delivering a U.S. telecommunications satellite into geostationary transfer orbit.
The first launch of Russia’s Proton rocket in nearly a year is now scheduled for June 7, a nine-day slip driven by a review of the ground systems at the rocket’s launch site.
International Launch Services is adding a larger payload fairing for its Proton rocket, but deferring development of one of two smaller versions of the vehicle announced last year.
International Launch Services, the commercial arm of Proton rocket manufacturer Khrunichev, says it still expects to complete all three launches planned for 2017 once Proton returns to flight.
International Launch Services on Sept. 13 announced two new variants of its Proton rocket that will be sized to launch smaller geostationary satellites.
Tuesday's briefing begins with ILS being chosen to launch Korea's Kompsat-6 satellite on an Angara 1.2 rocket.
An International Launch Services Proton rocket, in the first flight of its latest and potentially final series of upgrades, on June 10 placed the Intelsat 31 commercial telecommunications satellite into geostationary transfer orbit.
Launch-service provider SpaceX on May 30 said it would meet with insurance underwriters in the coming weeks to discuss the company’s plans to certify used rocket stages as fit for reuse, a long-held SpaceX ambition as a way to reduce launch costs.
Inmarsat, worried that delays in the introduction of the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket will compromise a major new growth initiative, has booked an option to launch the Europasat/Hellas-sat 3 satellite aboard an International Launch Services Proton rocket in 2017, industry officials said.
An ILS Russian Proton rocket on Jan. 30 successfully placed the Eutelsat 9B commercial telecommunications satellite into orbit.