Successful launch for SES-1

By Robert Briel
April 25, 2010 08.00 UK

The SES-1 satellite successfully roared into space on board a Proton Breeze M booster from the Baikonour Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on April 24 at 17:19 p.m. local time (13:19 CET).

Eight hours and 58 minutes after lift-off the spacecraft separated from the Breeze M upper stage and was placed into geostationary orbit. Initial signals from SES-1 were received at a control station in Perth, Australia.

SES-1 was manufactured by Orbital Sciences Corporation, with launch services on board Proton provided by International Launch Services (ILS). The spacecraft is poised to be the 42nd satellite in SES’ global fleet.

Rob Bednarek, President and CEO of SES World Skies, stated: “The flawless launch of SES-1 will allow us to ensure uninterrupted service for a variety of valued customers at the key orbital position of 101 degrees West. SES-1 is an integral part of our fleet renewal program over North America. SES-1 also marks the first satellite in the now 42 satellite strong global SES fleet to carry the ‘SES’ prefix.”

“The successful launch of SES-1 for SES marks the 17th mission with SES dating back to the inaugural commercial launch of ILS Proton with SES’ Astra 1F fourteen years ago,” said Frank McKenna, President of ILS.

SES-1 is a hybrid C- and Ku-band spacecraft that will provide coverage of the 50 US states and is intended to replace SES’s existing AMC-2 and AMC-4 satellite at the orbital location of 101 degrees West. SES-1 is part of an SES contract with Orbital Sciences for the provision of up to five virtually identical satellites in order to replenish SES’ North American satellite fleet.

The SES satellites are based on Orbital’s enhanced Star 2.4 bus, the largest and most powerful communications satellite the company builds. The spacecraft will each carry 24 active C-band and 24 Ku-band transponders of 36 MHz capacity each. Six of the channels in each band can be cross-strapped to the opposite band, enabling new service capability.