Published: 07.41 Europe/London, June 10, 2011

The Astra 1 satellite for Arianespaceís next Ariane 5 flight is undergoing its processing at the Spaceport in French Guiana, in preparation for a July 1 liftoff.

The EADS Astrium-built Astra 1N is a state-of-the-art Ku-band spacecraft that will deliver pan-European direct-to-home broadcast services for satellite operator SES Astra. The new satellite initially will provide interim capacity from an orbital position of 28.2 degrees East following its deployment by Ariane 5. It subsequently will be moved to SES Astraís prime location at 19.2 degrees East for primary and backup services.

Alongside the Astra 1N, the Japanese BSAT-3c/JCSAT-110R will ride as the lower passenger during the upcoming mission. The satellite is a hybrid broadcasting and telecommunications satellite built by Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems on behalf of B-SAT Corporation and SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation.

Based on Lockheed Martinís A2100A platform, the spacecraft is to be operated from an orbital position of 110 degrees. East longitude, and was designed to meet a required 15-year service life.