Fun with Figures: The Rise and Fall of the Commercial Proton Booster

Proton on launch pad (Credit: ILS)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Russia recently marked the 25th anniversary of the entry of the Proton rocket into the international commercial marketplace. On April 8, 1996, a Proton-K booster with a DM3 upper stage launched the Astra 1F geosynchronous communications satellite built by U.S.-based Hughes for Luxembourg’s SES from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.


ILS Names New President, Launch Opportunities

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 11, 2020 (ILS PR) — Today ILS International Launch Services, Inc. (ILS) announces the appointment of Tiphaine Louradour as President.

Tiphaine joins ILS with over two decades of Space Industry and management experience, most recently as President of Global Commercial Sales at United Launch Alliance (ULA). Prior to this role, Tiphaine held a number of positions of increasing responsibility in finance, risk management, strategy, commercial sales and marketing and also gained international business experience while serving as a consultant to international consulting firms in the US and Europe.


ILS President Departs Proton Flies Last Scheduled Commercial Launch

MOSCOW (Khrunichev PR) — Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center, the majority shareholder of ILS International Launch Services, Inc., (“ILS”) announced the departure of Kirk Pysher as ILS President. John Palme, ILS Chief Operations Officer, will serve as interim President until a successor is appointed.

Mr. Alexey Varochko, KhSC Director General, expressed his thanks to Mr. Pysher for his work on offering Proton M launch services on the global market.


ILS Announces Leadership Changes

Reston, VA (ILS PR) — ILS announces the departure of Frank McKenna as ILS’ president and the appointment of Phil Slack as president of ILS.

For the past twelve years, Slack was the vice president and chief financial officer for ILS. Prior to ILS, he held several senior business management positions with Boeing, primarily in their space transportation business from 1988 until joining ILS in 2000.

John Palmé has been appointed vice president of programs and operations and chief technical officer for International Launch Services (ILS) of Reston, Virginia. For the past four years, Palmé held the role of deputy vice president for mission assurance and program director. Palmé has also overseen the reliability and quality programs and the integration and launch of commercial spacecraft on ILS Proton.

Palmé has over 25 years of experience in spacecraft and launch vehicle design, integration, test, launch and operations. He previously worked with RCA Astro Electronics, General Electric Aerospace (graduating from the Edison Engineering Program), Martin Marietta, Orbcomm Global and Lockheed Martin. Palmé has worked with various types of spacecraft, including communications, remote sensing, earth science and advanced test beds.

Palmé graduated from Villanova University with a BSME in 1988 and MSME in 1991.

Editor’s Note: ILS markets the Russian Proton rocket.

ILS Protests ESA’s Subsidies to Arianespace

ILS PR — BRUSSELS, Belgium, March 23, 2011 — ILS International Launch Services, Inc. (ILS), citing the recurring subsidies provided to its primary competitor, Arianespace, is waging an aggressive protest and intends to pursue “all avenues of recourse to stop such inordinate and direct subsidization of Ariane’s commercial operations,” said ILS President Frank McKenna.

This followed the most recent decision by the 18-nation European Space Agency (ESA) on March 17 to grant an additional infusion of funds totaling 250 million euros ($318 million) to support Europe’s Arianespace launch consortium with the implied promise of continued support beginning in 2013.