ILS Proton launcher with Express 80 & 103 satellites for RSCC.

ILS Proton launcher with Express 80 & 103 satellites for RSCC

The ILS Proton launcher is orbiting the Express 80 & 103 satellites for satellite operator RSCC from Russia.

International Launch Services (ILS) is providing launch services for global satellite operators and offers a complete array of services and support, from contract signing through mission management and on-orbit delivery. ILS has exclusive rights to market Proton launch services for commercial and civil satellite programs worldwide. ILS markets also the Angara 1.2 rocket for launch services to global commercial and governmental customers for Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites.

ILS was founded in 1995 and is a subsidiary of Khrunichev State Research & Production Space Center (Khrunichev) is headquartered in Reston, VA, near Washington, D.C. comprised of about 30 professionals and provides sales, marketing, mission management, launch operations, legal, licensing, and technical translation services.

ILS is using the Proton launch system for both commercial and Russian government space launches. The first Proton rocket was launched in 1965. Modern versions of the launch system are still in use as of 2016, making it one of the most successful heavy boosters in the history of spaceflight.

All Protons are built at the Khrunichev State Research & Production Space Center plant in Moscow and transported to the Baikonur Cosmodrome launch facility and brought to the launch pad horizontally and raised into vertical position for launch.

The names of recurring payloads became associated with the Proton. The moniker “Proton” originates from a series of similarly named scientific satellites, which were among the rocket’s first payloads.

Launch capacity to low Earth orbit is about 22.8 tonnes (50,000 lbs). Geostationary transfer capacity is about 6,150 kgs (13,560 lb). The Proton rocket will retire before 2030.