Airbus Defence and Space

Airbus Defence and Space-built ASTRA 1M satellite commissioned in orbit

Toulouse, 18 December 2008 – SES has formally accepted the ASTRA 1M satellite after having successfully completed in-orbit testing and verified its excellent performance. The satellite designed and built by Airbus Defence and Space is now ready for operational service.

  •   Fifth Eurostar satellite delivered by Airbus Defence and Space this year

Airbus Defence and Space took control and commenced in-orbit operations following launch of the ASTRA 1M satellite on 5 November 2008 from Baikonur, Kazakhstan. The satellite reached geostationary orbit on 13 November where it fully deployed its solar arrays and its three antenna reflectors. Upon completion of platform testing in orbit on 18 November, the control of the satellite was transferred to SES who has thoroughly tested its communications payload and validated its full performance. Just one month after the hand over, SES formally pronounced today the in-orbit acceptance of the Airbus Defence and Space-built satellite, which is now ready to enter operational service at its 19.2°E orbital location.

With its 36 high-power Ku-band transponders, the Airbus Defence and Space-built Eurostar E3000 satellite will deliver direct-to-home (DTH) services, including digital and high definition (HD) television with pan-European coverage.  ASTRA 1M is the second Eurostar satellite in the ASTRA fleet following ASTRA 2B, which was launched in September 2000. Airbus Defence and Space is constructing two other Eurostar E3000 satellites for SES : ASTRA 3B is currently undergoing final assembly and testing, and Astra 1N was ordered in July 2008.
ASTRA 1M is the fifth Eurostar satellite launched this year and the 39th in orbit. It is the 14th Eurostar E3000 satellite, eleven others are currently at various stages of production.

Airbus Defence and Space, a wholly owned subsidiary of AIRBUS Group, is dedicated to providing civil and defence space systems and services. In 2007, Airbus Defence and Space 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 Airbus Defence and Space for launchers and orbital infrastructure, Airbus Defence and Space for spacecraft and ground segment and its wholly owned subsidiary Airbus Defence and Space for the development and delivery of satellite services.

AIRBUS Group is a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2007, AIRBUS Group generated revenues of €39.1 billion and employed a workforce of more than 116,000.


Media contacts:

Matthieu Duvelleroy (Airbus Defence and Space FR)                                            Phone: +33 (0) 1 77 75 80 32

Jeremy Close (Airbus Defence and Space UK)                                                      Phone: +44 (0) 1 438 77 3872

Mathias Pikelj (Airbus Defence and Space GER)                                                   Phone: +49 (0) 7545 8 9123

Francisco Lechón (Airbus Defence and Space SP)                                                Phone: +34 91 586 37 41