Press Release

SES Astra Awards Astra 1M Contract to EADS Astrium

By SpaceRef Editor
July 21, 2005
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SES ASTRA, an SES GLOBAL company (Euronext Paris and Luxembourg Stock Exchange: SESG) is pleased to announce that it has awarded the contract for the construction of its ASTRA 1M satellite to European manufacturer EADS Astrium, an EADS company.

EADS Astrium, as prime contractor for ASTRA 1M, will design and build the satellite and supply both the payload and the platform. European industry will supply the majority of the spacecraft equipment and technology. The satellite will provide a full range of television broadcasting services, including HDTV and other advanced audiovisual as well as broadband services.

EADS Astrium will manufacture the ASTRA 1M spacecraft based on its flight-proven and state-of-the-art Eurostar E3000 platform, the latest version of the Eurostar series, which became first part of the SES fleet with the ASTRA 2B spacecraft launched in September 2000.

ASTRA 1M will carry 36 transponders for the first five years (32 thereafter) covering the FSS and BSS frequency bands. The spacecraft will feature pan-European as well as Middle East and African coverage. The satellite will be specified for a minimum service life of 15 years. It will have a launch mass of 5300 kilograms, a solar array span of 35 metres once deployed in orbit, and spacecraft power of 10 kW at end of life. The ASTRA 1M spacecraft will be compatible with all flight proven launch vehicles. SES ASTRA will choose a launch service provider in the near future.

“We are most pleased to work with EADS Astrium on the ASTRA 1M mission, and building on our fruitful cooperation on ASTRA 2B”, said Ferdinand Kayser, President and CEO of SES ASTRA. “Our decision is not least proof of the competitiveness of the European Space industry in general, and EADS Astrium in particular.“

Antoine Bouvier, CEO of EADS Astrium, said: “We are delighted that SES ASTRA orders again an EADS Astrium satellite. Their decision to select us with an E3000 satellite confirms their confidence in the superior reliability of Eurostar and our industrial capability. We are convinced that this contract heralds a new phase of cooperation with SES ASTRA, who is a world leading operator and is recognized globally for its technical expertise.”


The ASTRA Satellite System is the leading Direct-to-Home (DTH) satellite system in Europe, delivering services to more than 102 million Direct-to-Home and cable households. The ASTRA satellite fleet currently comprises 13 satellites, transmitting in excess of 1400 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° East and 28.2° East. Professional services such as Direct-to cable (DTC), Satellite Newsgathering (SNG) and Occasional Use are offered from the orbital position of 23.5° East.

SES ASTRA is an SES GLOBAL company (Euronext Paris and Luxembourg Stock Exchange: SESG). SES GLOBAL wholly owns two market-leading satellite operators, SES ASTRA in Europe, and SES AMERICOM in the US. The Company also holds strategic participations in AsiaSat in Asia, Star One and Nahuelsat in Latin America, and NSAB in Europe. SES GLOBAL can provide outstanding satellite communications solutions via a fleet of 40 satellites across the globe. Additional info on SES GLOBAL at:

About EADS Astrium

EADS Astrium is Europe’s leading satellite specialist. Its activities cover complete civil and military telecommunications and Earth observation systems, science and navigation programmes, and all spacecraft avionics and equipment. EADS Astrium is a wholly owned subsidiary of EADS SPACE, which is dedicated to providing civil and defence space systems. In 2004, EADS SPACE had a turnover of €2.6 billion and 11,000 employees in France, Germany, the United Kingdom and Spain. EADS is a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2004, EADS generated revenues of €31.8 billion and employed a workforce of more than 110,000.

For more information, please go to

For more information, please contact :

SES GLOBAL Yves Feltes ++352 710 72 5311

EADS SPACE (FR) Rémi ROLAND ++33 (0) 1 42 24 27 34

ASTRA 1M technical characteristics

Spacecraft : E3000

Main body dimensions : Height: 4 m Length: 2.4 m Width: 2.9 m

Solar Array Span: 35 m

Launch mass: 5.3 tons

DC Power at End of life: 10 kW

Design lifetime: 15 years +

Orbital position: 19.2° East longitude


ASTRA Frequency bands: D (10.7-10.95 GHz) B (11.45-11.7 GHz) E and F (11.7-12.5 GHz)

Number of transponders: 32 transponders

Payload power: 8 kW
Antennas: Two 2.4 meter diameter deployable reflectors
One 2.2 meter diameter deployable reflector

Coverage: Europe, North Africa, Middle East
Channel Bandwidths: 26 MHz in FSS band
33 MHz in BSS band

SpaceRef staff editor.