[Satellite TODAY Insider 03-27-12] International Launch Services (ILS) successfully placed the Intelsat 22 satellite into a super-synchronous transfer orbit onboard a Proton M rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and the spacecraft’s manufacturer Boeing Space & Intelligence Systems has received its first signals, the companies confirmed March 26.
FSS operator Intelsat will use the new satellite to provide C- and Ku-band capacity to its media, government and network services customers in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. Intelsat 22 will also host a specialized UHF communications payload for the Australian Defense Force (ADF) when it becomes operational in May. The satellite replaces the Intelsat 709 spacecraft at the 72 degrees East orbital slot.
Intelsat CEO Dave McGlade called the launch of Intelsat 22 a significant milestone for the company’s long-term government strategy. “The launch demonstrates the viability of hosted payloads in delivering customized space solutions for government users,” McGlade said in a statement. “On time and on budget, the delivery of the UHF payload for the Australian Defense Force successfully demonstrates how hosted payloads are embraced by governments seeking cost-efficient access to space.”
The operator hopes the new satellite’s customized beams will help expand its global mobility broadband fabric and allow continuous broadband connectivity for ships and planes traversing some of the world’s busiest transport routes. “Intelsat delivers broadband infrastructure everywhere, and the successful launch of Intelsat 22 delivers enhanced satellite capacity for telecommunications leaders in Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Europe, such as the UAE’s Etisalat and Ethio Telecom of Ethiopia,” said McGlade, “I would like to thank the teams of ILS, Khrunichev, Intelsat and Boeing for their tireless work on Intelsat 22, ensuring a timely launch and precise delivery to orbit for this critical mission.”
The launch represented ILS Proton’s second launch of the year, as well as its first SSTO mission. ILS President Frank McKenna said that both his company and its Russian partner Khrunichev were squarely focused on launching the Intelsat 22 satellite on schedule to meet the requirements for its critical SSTO mission from the moment the contract was signed. Intelsat is a leader and innovator in the satellite telecommunications industry, having established the first global commercial satellite communications network,” he said. “We look forward to performing our next mission with Intelsat – the Intelsat 23 satellite – later this year.”