ILS Proton Launches Arabsat Badr-5

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PARIS — An International Launch Services (ILS) Proton rocket lifted off from Kazakhstan June 4 to successfully place the Arabsat Badr-5 telecommunications satellite into geostationary transfer orbit, ILS and Arabsat announced.  It was the sixth launch of Russia’s Proton rocket this year and the 23rd launch in 22 months.

Badr-5, built by Astrium Satellites and Thales Alenia Space of Europe, carries 56 Ku- and four Ka-band transponders. It will be operated from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia-based Arabsat’s 26 degrees east orbital slot, where it will be co-located with the Badr-4 and Badr-6 satellites.

Weighing 5,420 kilograms at launch, Badr-5 is designed to provide 14 kilowatts of power to its payload and to permit the 21-nation Arabsat conglomerate to back up its other Badr spacecraft in the event of an on-board failure on one of them.

The launch was the fourth of a planned seven commercial missions that Reston, Va.-based ILS plans in 2010. Moscow-based Khrunichev, which owns ILS and is prime contractor for the Proton rocket, including its Breeze-M upper stage, is producing rockets at a rate to assure one launch per month, when ILS and Russian government missions are combined.