An International Launch Systems (ILS) Proton-M rocket lifted off its pad in Baikonur Kazakhstan yesterday at 11:38 AM Phoenix time (1838 UTC). There have been almost 400 launches of the Proton system since 1965.
Nine hours after launch, the Briz-M upper stage delivered the satellite to Geostationary Orbit.
Originally scheduled for launch last December, it was postponed due to an upper stage problem. Then, in June, an out of tolerance telemetry reading for a first stage sub-assembly eventually forced the vehicle off the pad and back to the processing hall for extensive testing.
This 6,000 Kg communications satellite will be stationed at five degrees East, and provide Ku-band capacity for Africa and Nordic and Baltic countries. The C-band coverage is for Africa and the Middle East. It has an expected lifetime of 15 years.
SES-5, built by Space Systems/Loral, will also carry the first hosted L-band payload for the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS). The EGNOS payload, which was developed by the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Commission (EC), will help verify, improve, and report on the reliability and accuracy of navigation positioning signals in Europe.