Press Release

SES’ AMC-21 Satellite Successfully Launched from Kourou Spaceport

By SpaceRef Editor
August 15, 2008
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SES’ AMC-21 Satellite Successfully Launched from Kourou Spaceport

SES S.A. (Paris:SESG) (LuxX:SESG), today announced that its AMC-21 satellite, procured by SES’ leasing company, SES Satellite Leasing Limited in the Isle of Man, roared into space onboard an Arianespace Ariane 5 ECA launch vehicle from the French Guiana Spaceport in Kourou August 14 at 5:44 p.m. local time (4:44 p.m. Eastern U.S.; 10:44 p.m. CET). After approximately 30 minutes, the spacecraft separated from the Ariane upper stage and was placed into geostationary transfer orbit. Approximately 20 minutes later, the satellite sent an initial signal which was received at the Uralla, Australia facility (5:38 p.m. Eastern U.S.; 11:38 p.m. CET).

Rob Bednarek, President and CEO of the recently announced division called SES AMERICOM-NEW SKIES said, “This evening’s launch of AMC-21 is a great achievement. Beginning with the ordering of the spacecraft in the spring of 2006 to its launch today, the entire mission was completed in 27 months. It is also a proud moment for the Thales-Orbital team, who partnered to build and deliver an exceptional spacecraft, and for the Ariane team who has just launched its 30th spacecraft for SES.” He continued, “We now look forward to bringing AMC-21 into service as we will be establishing a new Ku-band enterprise and broadcast neighborhood in the North American arc at 125 degrees West. Anchoring the new satellite will be the Public Broadcasting Service and several of their local broadcast affiliates. The satellite will also be used for new applications such as maritime mobile broadband.”

Blaise Jaeger, Executive Vice President Telecommunication of Thales Alenia Space said, “AMC-21 was the result of some unique design requirements established by SES, which allowed Thales and Orbital to partner and play to our mutual strengths for this particular mission.” He continued, “Our relationship with SES has been successful for more than a decade, and we are now looking ahead to the fall 2008 launch of Ciel-2 for the SES Canadian affiliate, Ciel Satellite Group.”

Jean-Yves Le Gall, President and CEO of Arianespace said, “I would like to thank SES for having the confidence that Arianespace would deliver AMC-21 safely into orbit. AMC-21 is the thirtieth satellite that Arianespace launched for SES, a successful collaboration of more than two dozen years.”

About AMC-21

The AMC-21 satellite provides coverage of the Continental United States (CONUS), Southern Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America. AMC-21 will provide broadcast television and mobile broadband services. The satellite is fitted with 24 Ku-band transponders, each 36 MHz in bandwidth, and will have an operational life of 15 years. Weighing about 2,500 kilograms at launch and having 6 kW of electrical power, it will initiate Ku-band service at 125 degrees West.

AMC-21 was procured by SES Satellite Leasing Ltd., an SES company located in the Isle of Man, and will be marketed by SES AMERICOM. The satellite, built by Thales Alenia Space and Orbital Sciences, is the first Star-2 spacecraft in the SES fleet. Orbital Sciences will perform the transfer orbit operation and deliver AMC-21 to 125 degrees West.

About SES

SES (Paris:SESG) (LuxX:SESG) wholly owns three market-leading satellite operators, SES ASTRA in Europe, SES AMERICOM in North America and SES NEW SKIES which provides global coverage and connectivity. The company also holds 90% of SES SIRIUS in Europe as well as strategic participations in Ciel in Canada and QuetzSat in Mexico. SES provides outstanding satellite communications solutions via a fleet of 38 satellites in 25 orbital positions around the globe. Additional information on SES is available at

SpaceRef staff editor.