Astra 1M set for October 31 launch
The launch of the new Astra 1M satellite from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan is scheduled for October 31, 2008. The satellite will be launched on a Proton Breeze M launch vehicle provided by International Launch Services (ILS) and will be the seventh Astra satellite to be launched on a Proton rocket.
The spacecraft, built by EADS Astrium and based on the Eurostar 3000 platform, will be positioned at the orbital position 19.2 degrees East, where it will provide pan-European coverage. It will primarily deliver DTH services, including HDTV. The launch of Astra 1M will allow the operator to redeploy other satellites to its increasingly important orbital position of 23.5 degrees East.
Ferdinand Kayser, president and CEO, said in a statement: ” SES and the Proton launch team are very experienced partners. Since the launch of Astra 1F on Proton in 1996, we have developed strong and reliable relationships with ILS and Khrunichev. We are counting on the continuous support by our launch partner and look forward to working with the launch team for this upcoming launch.”