Press Release

ASTRA 1KR Satellite Successfully Launched

By SpaceRef Editor
April 20, 2006
Filed under , ,
ASTRA 1KR Satellite Successfully Launched

New ASTRA Satellite at Prime Orbital Position 19.2 Degrees East / Back-up Scheme / HDTV Channels

SES ASTRA, an SES GLOBAL company, is pleased to announce that its new ASTRA 1KR satellite has been successfully launched into orbit. ASTRA 1KR roared into space onboard an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida, last night at 16.27 local time – 22.27 CET. The satellite will now be brought into its final orbital position within the next weeks and will be made commercially available end of June 2006 after extensive in-orbit testing.

ASTRA 1KR will be located at 19.2(degree) East, ASTRA’s prime orbital position for delivering broadcast services to Continental Europe, and will also transmit HDTV channels. With its satellite fleet ASTRA reaches 107 million homes in Europe.

“We are very proud and satisfied that the ASTRA 1KR mission has been a success”, said Ferdinand Kayser, President and CEO of SES ASTRA. “ASTRA 1KR will benefit our customers, strengthen our unique inter-satellite back-up scheme and provide replacement capacity for our ASTRA 1B and ASTRA 1C satellites. The success of the ASTRA 1KR mission is a milestone in our company history and shows that we have strengthened the fruitful cooperation with our launch partners, Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems and International Launch Services.”

“This was an especially important mission for ILS and our customer, SES ASTRA,” said ILS President Mark Albrecht. “It was our 100th launch, as well as an opportunity to introduce a valued customer to the excellence of Atlas.”

The pictures of the launch will be available under together with the related press release from our partner ILS.


The ASTRA Satellite System is the leading Direct-to-Home (DTH) satellite system in Europe, delivering services to some 107 million Direct-to-Home and cable households. The ASTRA satellite fleet currently comprises 13 satellites, transmitting in excess of 1600 analogue and digital television and radio channels as well as multimedia and Internet services. ASTRA’s two prime orbital positions for DTH services are 19.2(degree) East and 28.2(degree) East. Professional services such as Direct-to cable (DTC), Satellite Newsgathering (SNG) and Occasional Use are offered from the orbital position of 23.5(degree) East.

SES ASTRA is an SES GLOBAL company (PINK SHEETS:SGBAF – News; BOURSE:SESG)(LuxX:SESG). SES GLOBAL wholly owns three market-leading satellite operators, SES ASTRA in Europe, SES AMERICOM in the US and New Skies Satellites in regions other than North America and Europe. The Company also holds strategic participations in AsiaSat in Asia, Star One in Latin America, SES Sirius in Europe, Ciel in Canada and Quetzsat in Mexico. Americom Government Services provides network solutions and bandwidth to the US government and its contractors. SES GLOBAL provides outstanding satellite communications solutions via a fleet of 43 satellites across the globe. Additional information on SES GLOBAL is available at:

About ILS

ILS is the global leader in launch services, offering the industry’s two best systems: Atlas and Proton. These vehicles have consistently demonstrated the reliability and flexibility that have made them preferred choice among satellite operators worldwide. ILS was formed in 1995, and is based in McLean, Va., a suburb of Washington, D.C.

About Lockheed Martin

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin employs about 135,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2005 sales of USD 37.2 billion.

SpaceRef staff editor.