BETZDORF, Luxembourg & PARIS --- SES ASTRA, an SES GLOBAL company (Luxembourg and Frankfurt Stock Exchanges: SESG) and Arianespace are pleased to announce that ASTRA 1KR, the 14th satellite in the ASTRA series, has been contracted for launch onboard an Ariane 5 booster in the third quarter of 2005. Financial terms of the launch contract were not disclosed.
ASTRA 1KR is being built by Lockheed Martin on the reliable A2100 platform and will feature 32 active Ku band transponders in the FSS band, with a TWTA output power of 140 watts and a pan-European footprint. With an expected launch weight of approximately 4200 kilograms and a design life of 15 years, the spacecraft's primary mission, following the lost ASTRA 1K mission of November 2002, will be to replace ASTRA 1B and 1C at SES' prime Continental European position of 19.2(degrees) East.
The launch of ASTRA 1KR will be the ninth satellite in the ASTRA series to launch on the Ariane booster from the European Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana.
Following the contract signature, Jean-Yves Le Gall, CEO of Arianespace, said: “This order, which comes from a leading satellite services provider, is a new sign of confidence in Arianespace from SES ASTRA.”
States Ferdinand Kayser, President and CEO of SES ASTRA: “SES ASTRA looks back at eight flawless launch campaigns on Ariane 4 and 5 boosters. We are confident that Arianespace's launch services will once again meet SES' high standards of operational excellence and we look forward to be working with Arianespace's highly professional technical teams on the ASTRA 1KR mission in French Guiana.”
The ASTRA Satellite System is Europe's leading Direct-to-Home satellite system, delivering television, radio as well as multimedia and Internet services to more than 92 million Direct-to-Home and cable households. The ASTRA satellite fleet currently comprises 13 satellites, transmitting in excess of 1100 analogue and digital television and radio channels as well as multimedia and Internet services.
SES ASTRA is an SES GLOBAL company, whose securities are listed on the Stock Exchanges in Luxembourg and Frankfurt (SESG). SES GLOBAL wholly owns two market leading satellite operators, SES ASTRA in Europe, and SES AMERICOM in the US. The Company also holds strategic participations in first-class regional satellite service providers, the SES GLOBAL partner companies, including AsiaSat and AMERICOM ASIA-PACIFIC in Asia, Star One and Nahuelsat in Latin America, and NSAB in Europe.
SES ASTRA Contracts Arianespace to Launch ASTRA 1KR