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International Launch Services Inc and SES Satellite Leasing signed a contract to launch five telecommunications satellites on board Proton-M carrier rockets by the end of 2013
International Launch Services Inc (ILS) and SES Satellite Leasing signed a contract to launch five telecommunications satellites on board Proton-M carrier rockets by the end of 2013, a Russian spacecraft manufacturer said Monday. The Luxemburg-based SES is a global provider of satellite telecommunications services that operates mainly through SES ASTRA in Europe, SES AMERICOM in North America and SES NEW SKIES in Africa, South America, the Middle East, and parts of Asia. The first satellite in the series will be launched in 2009, the Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center said in a statement. The new satellites will expand the SES satellite group, which currently consists of 36 satellites. International Launch Services, is a U.S.-Russian joint venture with exclusive rights for worldwide commercial sales and mission management of satellite launches on Russia's Proton carrier rockets. The joint venture partners are Space Transport Inc., a privately held corporation based in the British Virgin Islands, the Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center, and RSC Energia of Moscow. The company has conducted a total of 46 commercial Proton launches since 1996, and has 15 scheduled launches through 2010. The Proton vehicle launches both commercial ILS missions and Russian government payloads from the Baikonur space center, which is operated by the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roskosmos) under lease from the Republic of Kazakhstan. ILS said June 13 that the next launch of a Proton carrier rocket with a U.S. telecommunications satellite, DirecTV-10, had been scheduled for July 7.
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