ASTRA 1K satellite stabilised

27 Nov 2002

Following the failure of the Proton launch vehicle to place ASTRA 1K, the fourteenth satellite in the ASTRA series, into the correct orbit on November 26th, 2002, the technical teams of SES ASTRA, Alcatel Space, CNES and NORAD have succeeded in stabilising the spacecraft in a circular orbit at an altitude of 290 km, where it can be safely sustained to allow the engineering teams to assess the status of the satellite and appropriate actions in due course. For further information please contact:

Yves Feltes
Press Relations Manager
Tel +352 710 725 311

Notes to Editors

ASTRA 1K was built by Alcatel Space of France, with Proton launch services from the Cosmodrome of Baikonur (Kazakhstan) provided by ILS (International Launch Services), a US-Russian joint venture. The spacecraft was intended to operate at ASTRA’s orbital position of 19.2° East.

SES ASTRA has full insurance coverage for the ASTRA 1K programme and the launch failure will not affect existing services at 19.2° East. Furthermore, ASTRA 2C, already operational at 19.2° East, offers comprehensive back-up for the ASTRA low-bands at this slot and will remain there until further notice.

Interactive Ka-Band services will continue to be provided by the existing Ka-band payload on ASTRA 1H.

With an existing available surplus capacity of roughly 20% of the 13 satellite strong ASTRA fleet in orbit, SES ASTRA, over the coming months, will reassess its future needs and make investment decisions on ASTRA 1K replacement capacity accordingl