March 21, 2010 - International Launch Services (ILS) successfully carried the EchoStar XIV satellite into orbit today on an ILS Proton for DISH Network LLC. This was the second ILS Proton launch and the fourth overall Proton launch this year. The EchoStar XIV satellite was also the 21st consecutive successful Proton launch in 20 months and the first commercial flight of the enhanced Phase III Proton.
The ILS Proton Breeze M launched from Pad 39 at the Cosmodrome at 00:27 today local time (14:27 EDT, 18:27 GMT). After a nine-hour, 10-minute mission, the Breeze M successfully released the EchoStar XIV satellite into geosynchronous transfer orbit. The satellite, weighing more than 6.3 metric tons, is the heaviest satellite launched on ILS Proton to date.
Built by Space Systems/Loral on the 1300 platform, EchoStar XIV will join DISH Network’s fleet of satellites at 119 degrees West longitude. EchoStar XIV will provide Ku-band services over the United States and strengthen DISH Network’s high definition lineup.
This was also the 355th launch for Proton since its inaugural flight in 1965, and the 58th ILS Proton launch overall. The Proton Breeze M launch vehicle was developed and built by Khrunichev Research and Production Space Center of Moscow, one of the pillars of the Russian space industry and the majority shareholder in ILS.