New ASTRA 1M Satellite Ready For Operation

20 Jan 2009

All tests successfully completed / ASTRA 1M positioned at 19.2° East / Direct-to-Home and HDTV services for continental Europe

Betzdorf (Luxembourg), 20 January 2009. – SES ASTRA, an SES company (Euronext Paris and Luxembourg Stock Exchange: SESG), announced today that its new ASTRA 1M satellite has been successfully deployed at its final orbital position at 19.2 degrees East and is ready for commercial operations. The satellite, which was built by EADS ASTRIUM and launched from Baikonur, Kazakhstan, on 5 November 2008 has successfully passed all necessary in-orbit tests of the hardware and broadcasting functionalities on board.

With its 36 transponders, ASTRA 1M will deliver Direct-to-Home (DTH) and HDTV services to continental Europe thereby offering important replacement capacity and reinforcing ASTRA's position as the most important HDTV platform in Europe.

“With ASTRA 1M now operational, we have reached another very important milestone in our fleet renewal programme, thus maintaining and strengthening our main orbital position at 19.2 degrees East and further increasing our flexibility in deploying our fleet,” said Ferdinand Kayser, President and CEO of SES ASTRA.

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 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:

For further information please contact:

Markus Payer
Tel + 352 710 725 500