Published: 20.09 Europe/London, June 21, 2011

SES has confirmed that it has chosen Arianespace as primary launch provider for its Astra 5B satellite, within the scope of the ‘Multi Launch Agreement’ between the two companies.
The launch is planned for mid-year 2013.

Weighing about 5,800 kg at liftoff, Astra 5B will be boosted into geostationary transfer orbit by an Ariane 5 launcher operating from the Guiana Space Center, Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana.

Astra 5B is under construction by Astrium using a Eurostar E3000 platform, and will be fitted with Ku- and Ka-band transponders. Positioned at 31.5 degrees East, it will provide high-quality broadcast services, VSAT type network data transmission and other broadband services for Europe. Astra 5B will offer a design life of 15 years.

Arianespace otherwise plans to launch the Astra 1N and SES 2 satellites for SES in 2011. The next planned launch is the Astra 1N on July 1.

Jean-Yves Le Gall, Chairman and CEO of Arianespace, said in a statement: “We are both proud and honoured to once again have the opportunity of working with this leading satellite operator. SES’s choice of Arianespace is clear recognition of the quality and excellence of our launch Service and Solutions.”