Kourou, 4 July 2008 - Launch preparation is underway in Kourou, French Guiana for the launch of BADR-6, a Eurostar E2000+ satellite built by Airbus Defence and Space for the Arab Satellite Communications Organization (ARABSAT). The Ariane 5 vehicle is scheduled for lift off on 7 July.
BADR-6 is the third spacecraft built by Airbus Defence and Space for ARABSAT, the communications satellite operator based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. BADR-6 is a multipurpose communications satellite equipped with Ku-band and C-band transponders designed to deliver to the Arab world and neighbouring countries Direct-to-Home broadcasting as well as internet broadband services, with all the extra capacity required to accommodate the anticipated rapidly growing demand for High-Definition TV.
The BADR-6 satellite, a Eurostar E2000+ model ordered in June 2006, has been assembled at Airbus Defence and Space’s Toulouse site and, after a comprehensive series of performance tests, successfully passed its shipment review on 17 March 2008. It was shipped on 28 May 2008 to Kourou where it has been fuelled and prepared for launch. The 3,350 kg spacecraft featuring 24 transponders in C-band and 20 transponders in Ku-band is now in position inside the SYLDA 5 dispenser system on top the Ariane 5 launch vehicle.
Airbus Defence and Space is the prime contractor for the BADR-6 satellite and responsible for the Launch and Early Orbit Phase (LEOP) operations as part of an in-orbit delivery contract. Thales Alenia Space supplied the communications payload.
BADR-6 will be the 36th Eurostar to orbit, and the final E2000+. An evolution of the initial E1000/2000 Eurostar series, the E2000+ model retained the unique and efficient Eurostar design from the early 90’s (4-tank architecture, all digital avionics, solar sailing control, etc.), however with some improvements and an increased capacity well suited for the high power digital direct-to-home TV missions. The E2000+ has proven to be very successful for in-orbit reliability. The next evolution of Eurostar is the current E3000 series, of which 24 models have been ordered to date, including two being built for the fifth generation of Arabsat satellites.
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.
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
Francisco Lechón (Airbus Defence and Space SP) Phone: +34 (0) 91 586 37 41