An International Launch Services (ILS) Proton vehicle launched the Intelsat 23 satellite from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan Oct. 14. Liftoff occurred at 4:37 a.m. EDT and the IS-23 satellite separated from the rocket’s upper stage nine hours and 30 minutes after launch at 2:07 p.m. EDT.
Initially slated for Aug. 23, the launch of IS-23 was delayed due to a botched satellite launch Aug. 6 caused by a problem with the Proton-M rocket's upper stage. A Russian board of inquiry into the mishap showed the root cause of the failure of the Russian Federal Telkom-3/Express MD-2 mission was due to a component of the pressurization system that was not manufactured to spec.
“This caused a shutdown of the Breeze-M main engine by the Breeze-M flight control system 7 seconds into the planned 18 minute and 5 second 3rd burn,” ILS said in a Sept. 12 statement.
The launch of IS-23, which marked the sixth ILS Proton launch this year, continues Intelsat's current fleet replacement and expansion campaign scheduled for completion in early 2013.
With an anticipated service life of more than 18 years, IS-23 will provide capacity for enterprise, oil and gas, and data networking applications, replacing Intelsat 707 at 307 degrees East and providing C-band services to customers in the Americas, Europe and Africa, and Ku-band coverage for Latin America.