ASTRA 3B SATELLITE SUCCESSFULLY LAUNCHED22 May 2010
Luxembourg/Kourou (French Guiana), 22 May 2010. - SES ASTRA, an SES company (Euronext Paris and Luxembourg Stock Exchange: SESG), announces that its new ASTRA 3B satellite has been successfully launched. ASTRA 3B roared into space onboard an Ariane 5 rocket from Kourou, French Guiana, on May 21 at 19:01 am local time (0:01 am on May 22 Central European Summer Time). The satellite will be brought into its final orbital position within the next weeks and will be made commercially available in June after in-orbit testing.
ASTRA 3B will be located at 23.5 degrees East. It will deliver Direct-to-Home (DTH) broadcast services to the Benelux and Eastern Europe and serve public and private satellite communication networks across Europe and the Middle East. The satellite will allow SES ASTRA to extend the geographical coverage and the service to customers and offer DTH TV reception from Spain to the Black Sea. It will also help SES ASTRA to further optimise the spectrum use at 23.5 degrees East. ASTRA 3B will join ASTRA 3A and enable SES ASTRA to release its satellites ASTRA 1E and ASTRA 1G for other missions. ASTRA 1E and ASTRA 1G are currently positioned at 23.5 degrees East.
ASTRA 3B was built by Astrium in Toulouse, France, using a Eurostar E3000 platform. The spacecraft weighed around 5,500 kilogrammes at launch and carries 60 Ku-band and four Ka-band transponders (after the first five years 56 Ku- and four Ka-band transponders). The SES ASTRA satellite fleet delivers high quality broadcasting to 125 million European homes and serves 3.5 million TV households from 23.5 degrees East.
"The successful launch of ASTRA 3B is another important milestone in our long-term strategy to develop and deploy our satellite fleet and secure additional growth potential," said Ferdinand Kayser, President and CEO of SES ASTRA. "We have already seen a strong take-up of the new capacity by our customers and successfully pre-contracted a significant number of transponders prior to launch. This shows the high expectations of our customers and their continuous demand for ASTRA capacity."
Pictures of the launch will be made available on www.arianespace.com and via AFP, Reuters, EPA, AP, Kyodo News, in Europe via AFP, ANP, ANSA, APA, Belga, DPA, EFE, Keystone, Lusa, Pressebild, and in Japan via JIJI press.
About SES ASTRA www.ses-astra.com
SES ASTRA is the leading Direct-to-Home (DTH) satellite system in Europe. The satellite fleet currently comprises 15 satellites. The ASTRA satellite system delivers services to more than 125 million DTH and cable households and transmits more than 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 120 High Definition (HD) channels on its main orbital positions, ASTRA represents the most important HDTV platform for Europe's leading broadcasters. The prime orbital positions for ASTRA are 19.2° East, 28.2° East, 23.5° East, 5° East and 31.5° East.
SES (Euronext Paris and Luxembourg Stock Exchange: SESG) wholly owns the market-leading satellite operators SES ASTRA and SES WORLD SKIES, and participations in Ciel in Canada, QuetzSat in Mexico as well as a strategic participation in satellite infrastructure start-up O3b Networks. SES provides outstanding satellite communications solutions via a global fleet of 43 satellites in 26 orbital locations. For further information: www.ses.com
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