An International Launch Services (ILS) Proton rocket with a Breeze M upper stage carried the UAE's Yahsat 1B (Y1B) satellite to geostationary transfer orbit at 4:18 a.m. local time today from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan for Al Yah Satellite Communications Co. of Abu Dhabi.
After a 9-hour, 12-minute, 5-burn mission, the Breeze M successfully released the Y1B satellite, weighing over 6,000 kg, into geostationary transfer orbit.
Y1B, built on Astrium's Eurostar E3000 platform, will deliver communications in Ka-band to serve both commercial and government users. The Y1B payload was built by Thales Alenia Space of France and Italy.
Last year Al Yah Satellite, a startup operator owned by Abu Dhabi's investment arm Mubadala, launched the first of two high-powered telecom satellites, part of a $1.6 billion effort to supply C-band, Ku-Band, and Ka-band services for commercial and government users. With the launch of Y1B, Al Yah Satellite aims to be the first space-based commercial broadband service to sell secure Ka-band capacity through its YahSecure service to foreign governments and defense forces.
In March the Abu Dhabi-based company signed a deal with Astrium Services, a division of Astrium, to resell excess military Ka-band capacity on Y1B. Other agreements to resell the capacity are in the works
"Communications is a vital factor for economic and social growth in today’s world and we are very excited to be bringing this pioneering vision into reality," Al Yah Satellite CEO Tareq Abdel Raheem Al Hosani said in an April 24 statement.