SES Astra orders new satellite from Astrium
July 15th, 2008

SES Astra announced today that it has 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.

(Source: SES Astra)