ILS Proton to Launch Ciel-2 Satellite to Serve North America

International Launch Services (ILS) has signed a contract for the launch of the Ciel-2 satellite on a Proton Breeze M vehicle in late 2008. Financial details were not disclosed. Source: International Launch Services (ILS) and The Ciel Satellite Group

The Ciel-2 satellite will be the inaugural launch undertaken by the Ciel Satellite Group, Canada’s newest satellite operator. SES AMERICOM Inc., a minority partner in Ciel, was the contracting agent for the launch.

“This award is a very important win for us,” said Frank McKenna, ILS president. “We are pleased to have the opportunity to assist Ciel Satellite in bringing new services to Canada and the rest of North America. We also welcome the expertise of SES AMERICOM, who assisted with the contract on behalf of Ciel. The SES family is a long-time, valued customer, for whom we have launched 11 satellites successfully on Proton.”

Ciel 2 is a Spacebus 4000 C4 model satellite, the largest Spacebus class satellite built by Alcatel Alenia, with a mass of 5,575 kg. From its assigned orbital position of 129 degrees West longitude, the high-powered Ku-band spacecraft will deliver a variety of communications services throughout Canada and the larger North American market.

“Ciel is absolutely thrilled to be working with ILS on the launch campaign for Ciel-2,” said David Lewis, president and chief executive officer of the Ciel Group. “Together the tremendous operational experience of the ILS team and the unmatched depth of our technical adviser, SES AMERICOM, offer Ciel the best possible support leading to the successful and timely delivery of Ciel-2 for operations at 129 degrees West.”

The Proton vehicle, built by ILS partner Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center of Russia, has carried out more than 320 missions for the Russian government and commercial customers over more than 40 years. The Proton launches from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. ILS is a joint venture of Space Transport Inc., Khrunichev and RSC Energia. ILS is incorporated in Delaware in the United States, and is headquartered in McLean, Va., a suburb of Washington, D.C. The Ciel Satellite Group is a Canadian-owned and controlled satellite operator with a strong combination of partners, including BPC Telecommunications Corp., a company controlled by Borealis Infrastructure and part of the OMERS Pension Plan’s group of companies; Canadian satellite pioneer Brian Neill; and SES AMERICOM Inc., an SES company (Euronext Paris and Luxembourg Stock Exchange:SESG), a worldwide leader in the satellite industry.