Press Release

AMC-9 Successfully Launched from Baikonur

By SpaceRef Editor
June 7, 2003
Filed under , ,

(AMC-9) satellite of SES AMERICOM, an SES GLOBAL company (Luxembourg
and Frankfurt Stock Exchange: SESG), roared into space onboard a
Russian Porton K booster from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan
today at 4:15 a.m. (Baikonur time; 00:15 a.m. CET; 6:15 p.m. Eastern
U.S. on June 6th). After 8 hours and 55 minutes, the spacecraft
separated from the Breeze M and was placed into geostationary target
orbit (11:15 a.m. Moscow time; 9:15 a.m. CET; 3:15 a.m. Eastern U.S.).

AMC-9 will become the sixteenth satellite in the AMERICOM fleet
and is planned for operation from 85 degrees West orbital position,
pending FCC approval. The hybrid C/Ku-band satellite will undergo
payload and performance testing and is expected to be ready in July to
support the transmission of digital video, data networking and
telecommunications services throughout North America.

Dean Olmstead, President and CEO of SES AMERICOM, said, “We are
delighted that AMC-9 has been launched; this spacecraft has an
important mission supporting both commercial and government
communication networks. Alcatel has done a great job on AMC-9; I am
also looking forward to the delivery of the next two satellites they
are building for us, AMC-12 and AMC-13, which will greatly enhance our
inter-regional capability.”

Mark Albrecht, ILS President: “I am delighted that Proton’s 300th
mission was a success, and a success for one of our steadiest
customers, SES AMERICOM. The launch of AMC-9 is the fifth by ILS for
AMERICOM since we were established in 1995; we have another three
satellites for AMERICOM in our manifest, two of which will be Atlas
2AS and one will be a Proton.”

Pascale Sourisse, President & CEO of Alcatel Space, said, “Alcatel
is most proud of our relationship with AMERICOM, considered one of the
most demanding spacecraft operators in the industry. I have every
confidence that AMC-9 will demonstrate the high caliber collaboration
we have established … in this case, the proof is in the satellite.”

AMC-9 Satellite

Built by Alcatel Space, AMC-9 was manufactured in their Toulouse
and Cannes facilities. The hybrid spacecraft is based on a Spacebus
3000B3 platform and at launch weighs 4,100 kg; the C-band payload
features 24 – 36 MHz transponders with 20 watt SSPAs; the Ku-band
payload features 24 – 36 MHz transponders with 110 watt TWTAs. Pending
FCC approval, the spacecraft will operate from 85 degrees West and
provide service throughout CONUS plus Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean
and Central America. Receiver redundancy on the spacecraft is 4 for 2;
amp redundancy on the C-band payload is 15 for 12, on the Ku-band side
it is 16 for 12. AMC-9 is expected to reach geosynchronous orbit and
its testing orbital location 81.9 degrees West by June 20th. After
thorough testing of all on-board systems, AMC-9 will be ready for
service in approximately six weeks.

Launch Summary

AMC-9 was launched by International Launch Services (ILS), the
joint venture between Lockheed Martin of the U.S. and Khrunichev and
RSC Energia of Russia. The Proton launch vehicle injected the
satellite into geosynchronous transfer orbit, using a five-burn Breeze
M mission design. The first three stages of the Proton used a standard
ascent trajectory to place the Breeze M fourth stage, with the
satellite, into a suborbital trajectory, from which the Breeze M then
placed itself and the spacecraft into a circular parking orbit of 180
km (112 miles), inclined at 51.6 degrees. Then the satellite was
propelled to its transfer orbit by additional burns of the Breeze M,
which was followed by the satellite’s separation from the Breeze M.
Next steps are a series of liquid apogee engine burns to raise
perigee, lower inclination and circularize the orbit at the
geostationary altitude of 36,000 km (22,300 miles).


With 30 years’ experience, SES AMERICOM, Inc. is recognized as a
pioneer and leading provider of global satellite communications
services currently operating 15 spacecraft in orbital positions
providing service throughout the Americas, across Europe, over the
Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, and throughout Asia. As a member of the
SES GLOBAL family, AMERICOM is able to provide end-to-end
telecommunications solutions to any region in the world. SES
AMERICOM’s key customers include ABC Radio Networks, AT&T Alascom, AOL
TimeWarner, British Telecom, Deutsche Welle, Discovery, Fox, TV
Guide/Gemstar, Gannett, HBO, Hughes Network Systems, Merlin, NBC, The
New York Times, NHK, PaxNet, PBS, TELE Greenland, TV Europa, Verestar,
and Viacom. Additional details are available at

Through its two operating companies, AMERICOM and ASTRA, SES
GLOBAL has a fleet of 28 satellites and can deliver broadband
satellite services to more than 90% of the world’s population. In
addition, SES GLOBAL’s strategic partnerships and participations in
AsiaSat, NSAB, StarOne, AMERICOM Asia-Pacific and Nahuelsat combine to
give entertainment, telecommunications, Internet, news and enterprise
customers’ access to a fleet of 41 satellites. Additional details are
available at

SpaceRef staff editor.