14 Jul 2008

ASTRA 1N scheduled for launch in 2011  


Betzdorf (Luxembourg), 15 July 2008 – 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."


About SES ASTRA                                                                                                    

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 a total of 2,295 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 42 High Definition (HD) channels available via its satellites today, ASTRA and SIRIUS represent the most important HDTV broadcasting platform in Europe. 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 38 satellites in 25 orbital positions around the globe. Additional information on SES is available at:

About Astrium

Astrium, a wholly owned subsidiary of EADS, is dedicated to providing civil and defence space systems and services. In 2007, Astrium had a turnover of €3.5 billion and 12,000 employees in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain and the Netherlands. Its three main areas of activity are Astrium Space Transportation for launchers and orbital infrastructure, Astrium Satellites for spacecraft and ground segment and its wholly owned subsidiary Astrium Services for the development and delivery of satellite services. EADS is a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2007, EADS generated revenues of €39.1 billion and employed a workforce of more than 116, 000. Additional information at:


For further information please contact:

Markus Payer
Tel + 352 710 725 500

For Astrium:

Matthieu Duvelleroy (Astrium France)           
+33 (0) 1 77 75 80 32
Jeremy Close (Astrium UK)                           
+44 (0)1 438 77 3872
Mathias Pikelj (Astrium Germany)                 
+49 (0) 162 29 49 666
Francisco Lechón (Astrium Spain)                
+34 91 586 37 41