ILS Proton to Launch QuetzSat-1

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PARIS — An International Launch Services (ILS) Proton rocket will launch satellite fleet operator SES‘s QuetzSat-1 telecommunications satellite in the second half of 2011 under an agreement the two companies announced July 14.

Luxembourg-based SES and its long-time partner, direct-broadcast satellite television operator EchoStar of Englewood, Colo., have joined forces to provide satellite television to North and South American audiences via QuetzSat-1, which will use a Mexican-registered orbital slot at 77 degrees west.

QuetzSat-1, under construction by Space Systems/Loral in Palo Alto, Calif., will carry 32 Ku-band transponders and is expected to weigh about 5,600 kilograms at launch. EchoStar has fully leased the satellite’s capacity for 10 years, both for Dish Network of the United States and for Dish Mexico, an EchoStar joint venture with Mexican partners.