ILS Orbits Eutelsat 9B Satellite with EDRS Laser Payload – Satellite Today

Proton Rocket ILS

ILS’ Eutelsat 9B Proton launch. Photo: ILS screen capture

[Via Satellite 02-01-2016] On Jan. 30, International Launch Services (ILS) launched the Eutelsat 9B satellite carrying the first European Data Relay System (EDRS) payload into orbit using a Proton rocket.

Built by Airbus Defence and Space, Eutelsat 9B carries 56 Ku-band transponders for the 9 degrees east orbital position. The satellite spreads capacity across five footprints and employs frequency reuse to optimize bandwidth. Eutelsat 9B hosts the EDRS-A laser terminal, designed to accelerate communications from Low Earth Orbit (LEO) remote sensing spacecraft. EDRS, also known as the SpaceDataHighway, is being implemented through a Public Private Partnership (PPP) between the European Space Agency (ESA) and Airbus Defence and Space.

The Jan. 30 launch marks the first Proton mission of 2016, and the 410th overall for the launch vehicle. For ILS, Eutelsat 9B is the company’s 92nd Proton launch. ILS and Eutelsat signed a multi-launch agreement last year for several missions between 2016 and 2023, of which Eutelsat 9B is the first.

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