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Intelsat’s giant I-31 ready to launch

International Launch Services (ILS) is ready to handle the launch of Intelsat-31 from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.  The launch is currently scheduled for June 8th at 13.10pm (Baikonur time/ 07.10 GMT).

Intelsat-31 was built by Space Systems/Loral and weighs some 6450 kgs. It will join Intelsat-30 at the 95 degrees West orbital slot.  Intelsat-31 carries C and Ku-band transponders, with DirecTV Latin America taking the Ku-band capacity for its Pan American services.

The satellite will be launched by a Proton/Briz M rocket and upper stages combination.  The rocket will fire its engines a total of 5 times and thus take the satellite eventually into a super-synchronous orbit. The first three stages of the Proton will use a standard ascent profile to place the orbital unit (Breeze M upper stage and the Intelsat 31 satellite) into a sub-orbital trajectory. From this point in the mission, the Breeze M will perform planned mission manoeuvres to advance the orbital unit first to a circular parking orbit, then to an intermediate orbit, followed by a transfer orbit, and finally to a super-synchronous transfer orbit. Separation of the Intelsat 31 satellite is scheduled to occur approximately 15 hours, 31 minutes after lift-off.

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