Arabsat 5A satellite shipped to launch site

Toulouse, 10 March 2010 - The first Arabsat 5th generation satellite today left the Astrium facilties in Toulouse and was loaded in Blagnac airport on an Antonov cargo airplane that will transport it to French Guyana in view of an April launch into geostationary orbit.

Arabsat-5A, a multi-mission satellite, will provide additional capacity at the Arabsat 30.5º East position for a large range of satellite communications services such as television backhauling and broadcasting, telephony, business communications, Internet trunking and the provision of VSAT and other interactive services, over sub-Saharan Africa, the North- Africa and Middle East (MENA) region, and beyond.
Arabsat 5A was built by an industrial team of Astrium and Thales Alenia Space acting as coprime contractors. Astrium, the team leader, supplied the Eurostar E3000 platform and assembled and tested the spacecraft. Thales Alenia Space supplied the communications payload featuring 26 active transponders in C-band and 24 in Ku-band. The Launch and Early Orbit Phase will be conducted from the Astrium spacecraft control centre in Toulouse.

Arabsat-5A will have a launch mass of 4,800kg and a spacecraft power of 11kW at the end of its 15-year designed lifetime. Arabsat 5A is the 4th Eurostar built for the Arab Satellite Communications Organization (Arabsat) based in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the 1st Eurostar E3000 in a series of four Arabsat 5th generation satellite ordered to date. A sister spacecraft, Arabsat 5B also known as Badr 5, is undergoing final testing in Toulouse.
Arabsat 5A is planned for launch by an Ariane 5 which will also carry another Astrium-built satellite, COMS, for the South Korean space agency KARI. Launch of Arabsat 5A and COMS is scheduled for the end of April.

About Astrium
Astrium, a wholly owned subsidiary of EADS, is dedicated to providing civil and defence space systems and services. In 2009, Astrium had a turnover of €4.8 billion and more than 15,000 employees in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain and the Netherlands. Its three main areas of activity are Astrium Space Transportation for launchers and orbital infrastructure, Astrium Satellites for spacecraft and ground segment and Astrium Services for the development and provision of secure and commercial satcoms and networks, high security satellite communications equipment, geoinformation products and services, and navigation services.
EADS is a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2009, EADS generated revenues of €42.8 billion and employed a workforce of more than 119, 000.