The Khrunichev majority-owned commercial launch provider International Launch Services (ILS) has announced on 28 March that it has been awarded a contract for two launches by the commercial communications satellite operator Intelsat for the launch of two of its planned spacecraft. The spacecraft, which will be launched on Russian Khrunichev-built Proton M/Breeze M launch vehicles have, as yet, not been named.
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A Proton M/Breeze M launch vehicle flying on behalf of the Khrunichev majority-owned launch provider, International Launch Services (ILS), successfully delivered the EchoStar XVI (Echostar 16) communications satellite into orbit for the satellite operator EchoStar Corporation. The launch occured at 1831GMT on 20 November from the Baikonur Cosmodrome near Tyuratam, Kazakhstan.
An ILS Proton Breeze M rocket successfully launched the Nimiq 6 commercial communications satellite for the satellite operator Telesat at 1912 GMT on 17 May from the Baikonur launch site in Kazakhstan. After a 9 hour 14 minute 5-burn mission, the Breeze M upper stage successfully released the satellite into its planned geostationary transfer orbit. The satellite, which uses a version of the Space Systems Loral, SS/L-1300 bus design, will use its on-board propulsion to positition itself into its final geostationary Earth orbit position.
Go here to get the latest newsletter from the IAF that has various reports including a link to a New Scientist story about the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich designing a solar powered plane that would fly in the atmosphere of Mars
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