- Press Release
- Dec 6, 2022
ILS Proton Successfully Launches EchoStar VIII Satellite
Russian Proton rocket successfully delivered its EchoStar VIII
satellite payload into orbit today, marking the fifth mission this
year for International Launch Services (ILS).
The Proton K/Block DM rocket lifted off at 11:15 a.m. local time
(1:15 a.m. EDT, 5:15 GMT), and placed the EchoStar VIII
direct-broadcast satellite into geosynchronous transfer orbit 6 hours
and 36 minutes later. This was the third Proton mission of the year
for ILS, and the fifth Proton flight overall for 2002.
Proton has had 100 percent success in all 24 of its launches over
the last 30 months, for both Russian government missions and for
commercial flights managed by ILS, based in McLean, Va.
The successful launch of EchoStar VIII brings EchoStar’s fleet to
eight satellites. From its 110 degrees West Longitude orbital
position, EchoStar VIII’s unique spot-beam feature will allow a more
efficient use of spectrum, enabling EchoStar to expand DISH Network
local-into-local service and increase in-orbit backup capacity.
This also was the second satellite launched this year by ILS for
EchoStar Communications Corp. of Littleton, Colo. The EchoStar VII
satellite was successfully launched Feb. 21 on an Atlas III rocket.
“We appreciate the confidence that EchoStar has shown in ILS by
choosing our vehicles for two launches in a short time frame,” said
ILS President Mark Albrecht. “Proton’s reliability is legendary, and
we’re proud to celebrate another successful mission.” ILS vehicles
have launched six of EchoStar’s eight satellites.
EchoStar VIII is a 1300 model satellite built by Space
Systems/Loral. Albrecht noted that this is the third Loral-built
satellite to be launched on Proton this year.
ILS is a joint venture of Lockheed Martin Corp. and
two Russian companies, Khrunichev State Research and Production Space
Center and RSC Energia. ILS markets and manages the missions for the
Atlas and the Proton.
The ILS joint venture was honored this summer with the 2002 Market
Engineering Strategic Alliance Leadership Award from consulting and
training firm Frost & Sullivan. ILS was cited for having led the
market in number of launches worldwide for the last three years.
ILS offers the broadest range of launch services in the world
along with products with the highest reliability in the industry. ILS’
Atlas rockets and their Centaur upper stages are built by Lockheed
Martin Space Systems Company-Astronautics Operations at facilities in
Denver; Harlingen, Texas; and San Diego, Calif.
The three-stage Proton and the Breeze M upper stage are assembled
by Khrunichev at its plant near Moscow. The alternative Block DM upper
stage is built by Energia, also near Moscow. For more information,