Press Release

SES ASTRA To Launch ASTRA 1KR on Atlas Rocket in 2006

By SpaceRef Editor
December 21, 2005
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SES ASTRA, an SES GLOBAL company, will launch its new satellite ASTRA 1KR on an Atlas V rocket from International Launch Services (ILS), a Lockheed Martin joint venture. The launch is scheduled for April 2006 from Cape Canaveral, Florida, and is the first Atlas mission for SES ASTRA, which is a longtime customer of ILS. ILS markets launch services on Lockheed Martin’s Atlas rocket and the Khrunichev-built Proton vehicle to satellite operators worldwide.

ASTRA 1KR is one of two ASTRA satellites scheduled for launch next year, with ASTRA 1L scheduled for the fourth quarter 2006. ASTRA 1KR will join the seven ASTRA satellites currently co-positioned at the prime orbital position 19.2(degree) East. It will operate as a replacement satellite for existing capacity at this position allowing the redeployment of existing resources within SES ASTRA`s unique redundancy and customer security scheme. The ASTRA 1KR mission is scheduled for an Atlas V-411 vehicle.

Martin Halliwell, Chief Technology Officer, said: “It is the first time that SES ASTRA has chosen an Atlas rocket for the launch of a new satellite. Thanks to the great experience that other SES companies have had with Atlas and our own long term relationship with the ILS team, we are confident that the launch of ASTRA 1KR will be successful.”

ILS President Mark Albrecht said, “We are pleased that SES ASTRA is joining the many successful Atlas customers. Since mid-1993, the Atlas family has achieved 100 percent reliability, launching both government and commercial payloads.”


The ASTRA Satellite System is the leading Direct-to-Home (DTH) satellite system in Europe, delivering services to some 103 million Direct-to-Home and cable households. The ASTRA satellite fleet currently comprises 13 satellites, transmitting more than 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(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 (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. Additional info on SES GLOBAL 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.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin employs about 135,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture and integration of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2004 sales of $35.5 billion.


Markus Payer, +352-710-725-500
Fran Slimmer, +1-571-633-7462
International Launch Services

SpaceRef staff editor.