Press Release

SES AMERICOM Retires Satcom C1 after 14 Years of Service

By SpaceRef Editor
May 3, 2005
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SES AMERICOM, an SES GLOBAL Company (Euronext Paris and Luxembourg Stock Exchanges:SESG), announced today that it conducted the last operations on the Satcom C1 satellite, safely de-orbiting the satellite more than 280 km beyond the geosynchronous orbital belt. The Advanced Satcom spacecraft was built with a projected design-life of 8.5 years. Launched in November 1990, the satellite provided C-band CONUS services for 10 years and in early 2001 was reassigned to the trans-Atlantic location of 37.5 degrees West. The spacecraft exceeded its expected service life by more than 60% due to efficient management of on-board fuel.

“Satcom C-1 was a valuable spacecraft in our fleet and provided consistent services to a great variety of customers. It’s a terrific reflection on the quality of the spacecraft, as well as the quality of the team that operated C1, that we could depend on it for so long. We have three ASTRO-built spacecraft remaining in our fleet, Satcom C3, Satcom C4, and Spacenet-4, all of which have proven to be flexible and reliable satellites,” said Dany Harel, SES AMERICOM Vice President, Space Systems and Operations.

Satcom C1, an all C-band satellite with 10 watts of power per transponder, was an advanced Satcom spacecraft built by RCA ASTRO SPACE, now Lockheed Martin. Launched as a co-passenger with GStar 4 in November 1990 aboard an Ariane 4 rocket, C1 had an operating payload of 24 transponders. C1 was the first of AMERICOM’s satellites that carried a third command receiver, adding another level of critical component redundancy to the satellite and further insuring long-term performance; this three-command receiver architecture has since become standard on AMERICOM’s successor satellites. In the long history of the satellite’s operational life it served broadcasters, Internet service providers, government agencies, educational institutions, carriers and private networks.


The largest supplier of satellite services in the U.S., SES AMERICOM, Inc. is recognized as a pioneer of global satellite communications services. Established in 1973 with its first satellite circuit for the U.S. Department of Defense, the company currently operates a fleet of 18 spacecraft in orbital positions predominantly providing service throughout the Americas. As a member of the SES GLOBAL family, SES AMERICOM is able to provide end-to-end telecommunications solutions to any region in the world. In 2001, the company established AMERICOM Government Services, a wholly owned subsidiary dedicated to providing satellite-based communications solutions to both civilian and defense agencies of the U.S. government. With its combined operations, SES AMERICOM serves broadcasters, cable programmers, aeronautical and maritime communications integrators, Internet service providers, mobile communications networks, government agencies, educational institutions, carriers and secure global data networks with efficient communication and content distribution solutions.

SpaceRef staff editor.