SES ASTRA Announces End Of ASTRA 5A Spacecraft Mission

Service for German cable households immediately transferred and secured
Betzdorf (Luxembourg), 16 January 2009. – SES ASTRA, an SES company (Euronext Paris and Luxembourg Stock Exchange: SESG), announces that its satellite ASTRA 5A, the former SIRIUS 2 operating at 31.5 degrees East, experienced a technical anomaly leading to the end of the spacecraft’s mission. SES ASTRA has immediately informed affected customers and switched a substantial part of the traffic to another ASTRA satellite at the 23.5 degrees East orbital position. The service for the German cable operators through their company KDL is among the transferred services. With this transfer, the economic impact of the incident on SES in 2009 will not be material.
The teams of the Swedish Space Corporation (SSC), the company that technically operates ASTRA 5A, and the satellite`s manufacturer, Thales Alenia Space, are now working closely on de-orbiting the satellite. Together with SES, they are also investigating the root cause of the incident.
ASTRA 5A was positioned at the orbital position 31.5 degrees East and launched as SIRIUS 2 in November 1997 to the 5 degrees East position. SES ASTRA will shortly take the necessary decisions to maintain and develop the 31.5 degrees East orbital position in the changed fleet deployment scenario.
SES ASTRA is the leading Direct-to-Home (DTH) satellite system in Europe. The satellite fleet currently comprises 14 ASTRA and two SIRIUS satellites. The combined satellite system delivers services to more than 117 million DTH and cable households and transmits nearly 2,500 analogue and digital television and radio channels. SES ASTRA also provides satellite-based multimedia, internet and telecommunication services to enterprises, governments and their agencies. With more than 60 High Definition (HD) channels on its main orbital positions, ASTRA and SIRIUS represent the most important HDTV platform for Europe's leading broadcasters. The prime orbital positions for ASTRA and SIRIUS are 19.2° East, 28.2° East, 23.5° East, 5° East and 31.5° East.
SES ASTRA is an SES company (Euronext Paris and Luxembourg Stock Exchange: SESG). SES owns three market-leading satellite operators, SES ASTRA in Europe, SES AMERICOM in North America, and SES NEW SKIES which provides global coverage and connectivity. The company owns 90 percent of SES SIRIUS in Europe, as well as strategic participations in Ciel in Canada and Quetzsat in Mexico. SES provides outstanding satellite communications solutions via a fleet of 39 satellites in 26 orbital positions around the globe. Additional information on SES is available at: