SES ASTRA Orders New Satellite From AstriumTuesday, July 15th, 2008
ASTRA 1N scheduled for launch in 2011
BETZDORF (Luxembourg) — SES ASTRA, an SES company (Euronext Paris and Luxembourg Stock Exchange: SESG), announced today that it awarded the construction of a new satellite, ASTRA 1N, to the European satellite manufacturer Astrium. The spacecraft is scheduled for launch in 2011 and will be positioned at ASTRA’s prime orbital position 19.2 degrees East. It will mainly serve the German, French and Spanish markets, and provide customers with continuous operating and back-up satellite capacity at this key location. ASTRA 1N will have 55 transponders with pan-European coverage, and will operate in the Ku frequency band. Its expected lifetime is 15 years.
ASTRA 1N will be built on a Eurostar E3000 platform, the latest version of Astrium’s Eurostar series which has proven to be highly reliable in commercial service. 11 Eurostar E3000 are currently in operation in orbit, and 13 more have been ordered. After ASTRA 2B, 1M and 3B, ASTRA 1N is the fourth ASTRA satellite to be built by Astrium.
SES ASTRA currently operates five satellites at 19.2 degrees East (ASTRA 1F, 1G, 1H, 1KR and 1L), operating the 120 Ku-band frequencies which are available at this orbital position. ASTRA 1KR and ASTRA 1L were launched in the last two years. ASTRA 1M is scheduled for launch during the fourth quarter of this year. With the arrival of ASTRA 1N, SES ASTRA will continue to operate all 120 frequencies and transponders at 19.2 degrees East on four satellites (ASTRA 1KR, 1L, 1M, 1N), while offering inter-satellite back up capacity. ASTRA 1N will initially replace ASTRA 1G, which will become available for use at other orbital positions within the fleet.
“The procurement of ASTRA 1N represents another important step in our strategy to continuously invest in our core business, and reinforce the high performance and efficiency of our fleet,” said Ferdinand Kayser, President and Chief Executive Officer of SES ASTRA. “With ASTRA 1N, we will have completed our comprehensive replacement programme at our prime orbital position of 19.2 degrees East and fully renewed our fleet at that position, thereby maintaining during the next decade the very high quality customer service. This will also enable us to continue to respond to the strong demand for digital and High Definition (HD) capacity, and to provide significant growth potential to key European markets.”
“We are pleased to have chosen Astrium, a manufacturer with a proven track record, and we look forward to working with their excellent technical teams on this project,” said Martin Halliwell, President of SES ENGINEERING, which oversees the satellite procurement process for SES.
“We are extremely pleased that SES, a long standing customer of Astrium, has reaffirmed its confidence in the Eurostar E3000 series with this latest order,” said Evert Dudok, CEO of Astrium Satellites. “We share a common view of technical excellence and look forward to maintaining the extremely successful collaboration established by our teams, most recently on ASTRA 1M ready for launch later this year and ASTRA 3B which is currently under production.”