Baikonur, Toulouse, 30 October 2008 - The ASTRA 1M satellite, built by Airbus Defence and Space for SES ASTRA, will be launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan during the night of 5-6 November. The satellite will be launched on a Proton Breeze M launch vehicle provided by International Launch Services (ILS).
As prime contractor for ASTRA 1M, Airbus Defence and Space is responsible for the design and build of the satellite and the supply of both the payload and the Eurostar E3000 platform. ASTRA 1M arrived at the launch site at the end of September, where its tanks were filled and the satellite was assembled in the upper stage of the launcher. Following the launch, the Airbus Defence and Space control centre in Toulouse will take control of the satellite, position it on its operational location, before handover to SES ASTRA.
ASTRA 1M will deliver direct-to-home (DTH) services, including digital and high definition (HD) television with pan-European coverage. Once positioned at 19.2°E, it will be 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: ASTRA 3B is currently undergoing final assembly and testing, and ASTRA 1N was ordered in July 2008.
ASTRA 1M will be 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.
The communications payload includes 36 high-power Ku-band transponders and three deployable antennas. The spacecraft will have a launch mass of 5,300 kg, a solar array span of 35 metres once deployed in orbit, and electrical power of 10 kW.
About Airbus Defence and Space
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.
Jeremy Close (Airbus Defence and Space UK) - Phone: + 44 (0) 1438 773872
Matthieu Duvelleroy (Airbus Defence and Space FR) - Phone: + 33 (0) 1 77 75 80 32
Mathias Pikelj (Airbus Defence and Space GER) - Phone: + 49 (0) 7545 89123
Francisco Lechón (Airbus Defence and Space SP) - Phone: + 34 91 586 37 41