Press Release

ILS Proton Successfully Launches Nimiq 2 for Lockheed Martin, Telesat Canada

By SpaceRef Editor
December 30, 2002
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next-generation Proton launch vehicle carried the Nimiq 2 satellite
into orbit today, bringing the year to a successful close for
International Launch Services (ILS).

This was the first commercial mission for the Russian-built Proton
M/Breeze M rocket configuration. The vehicle lifted off at 4:17 a.m.
today local time (6:17 p.m. Sunday EST, 23:17 Sunday GMT). Six hours
and 53 minutes later, the satellite was released into a transfer
orbit. The satellite, designed for direct broadcast services, was
built by Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems, and will be
operated by Telesat Canada.

“The Proton vehicle has once again proven its reliability,” said
ILS President Mark Albrecht. “Proton is the workhorse of the Russian
fleet, and Proton M with the Breeze M upper stage builds upon that
heritage while featuring more lift capability, advanced materials and
digital avionics.”

ILS has conducted 10 launches this year, five each on Atlas and
Proton, using all variants – Atlas IIA, IIAS, III and V, and Proton K
and M. In addition, the Proton has flown four missions for the Russian
government, for a total of nine launches this year. ILS is a joint
venture of Lockheed Martin Corp. in the United States,
which builds the Atlas; and Russian companies Khrunichev State
Research and Production Space Center and RSC Energia, producers of the
Proton vehicles. Today’s launch was the 26th for ILS on Proton.

This was the second Nimiq satellite launched on Proton. The Nimiq
1 spacecraft was launched May 21, 1999.

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 was formed in 1995 to provide launch services to customers
worldwide, including technical, management and marketing expertise. It
offers the broadest range of launch services in the world along with
the highest reliability in the industry. For more information, visit

SpaceRef staff editor.