Satellite operator SES has confirmed that its SES-3 craft was successfully launched into space on board an ILS Proton launch vehicle.
The ILS Proton Breeze M was launched from Pad 39 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome at 5:16 a.m. local time Saturday July 16 (1:16 a.m. CET). After an eight-hour, one-minute mission, the Breeze M successfully released the SES-3 satellite directly into geostationary transfer orbit.
The craft will replace SES’s existing AMC-1 satellite at the orbital position of 103 degrees West, a highly sought after location in the Centre of the the North American arc, from where it will provide coverage of North America and the Caribbean. The hybrid satellite carries 24 C-Band transponders and 24 Ku-Band transponders (36 MHz), generates approximately five kilowatts of payload power, and features a design life of 15 years.
SES-3’s C-band transponders will provide service to blue-chip U.S. television networks broadcasting to over 4,350 cable head-ends in the US, while its Ku-band transponders will serve a range of enterprise customers with VSAT and broadband services. The cross-strapping capabilities from C- to Ku-band on the spacecraft will enable customers to further optimise their enterprise networks.
Romain Bausch, President and CEO of SES, described the launch as an important event for SES’s North American customers, with the new satellite providing seamless continuity to some of its key customers for the next decade and beyond.
The next SES launch is scheduled for the end of July, when an Ariane ECA booster will orbit the ASTRA 1N spacecraft from the European Space Port in Kourou, French Guyana.