Ariane 5 is in the launch zone for dual-payload mission launch

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The 58th Ariane 5 to be launched from the Spaceport has rolled out for Arianespace's dual-payload flight tomorrow from French Guiana, carrying satellites for Asia and India.
For this third Arianespace mission of 2011, the heavy-lift Ariane 5 was transferred from its Final Assembly Building to the Spaceport's ELA-3 launch zone - enabling the countdown to begin for a Friday evening liftoff with the GSAT-8 and ST-2 spacecraft.

ST-2 will be deployed first during the 31-minute flight sequence of Ariane 5. Built by Japan's Mitsubishi Electric Company, the satellite will be operated by the ST-2 Satellite Ventures joint company of Singapore Telecommunications Ltd (SingTel) and Taiwan's Chunghwa Telecom Company Ltd.

With an estimated liftoff mass of 5,090 kg., ST-2 will provide Ku- and C-band relay services for the delivery of IP-based fixed and mobile, voice and data transmission satellite services to businesses - especially direct broadcast TV operators and maritime companies in Asia and the Middle East.

The other passenger in Ariane 5's dual-payload "stack" is GSAT-8, which was built by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). This spacecraft weighs approximately 3,100 kg. for liftoff, and carries 24 transponders to augment India's Ku-band relay capabilities - primarily for direct-to-home TV broadcast services - with a coverage zone including the entire Indian subcontinent. Additionally, GSAT-8 carries the two-channel GAGAN system for aircraft navigation assistance over Indian airspace and adjoining areas.

Astra 1N Arrives In Kourou For Launch Onboard Ariane 5

Satellite to provide Direct-to-Home television across Europe

SES (Euronext Paris and Luxembourg Stock Exchange: SESG) has announced that the ASTRA 1N satellite designed and manufactured by Astrium for SES has arrived at the European space Center in Kourou, French Guiana, in preparation for its launch by an Ariane 5 vehicle early July 2011.

ASTRA 1N will deliver direct-to-home (DTH) services, notably digital and high definition (HD) television with pan-European coverage, and is planned to mainly serve the German, French and Spanish markets. The satellite will first provide interim capacity at 28.2 degrees East, and will subsequently be moved to19.2 degrees East, its final orbital position.

As prime contractor for ASTRA 1N, Astrium has supplied both the payload and the Eurostar E3000 platform for this satellite equipped with 62 transponders in the Ku frequency band. ASTRA 1N will have a launch mass of 5,350 kg and a spacecraft power of 13 kW at the end of its 15-year design life. Launch and Early Orbit Phase operations will be conducted from the Astrium spacecraft control centre in Toulouse, France.

ASTRA 1N will be the fourth Eurostar satellite in the ASTRA fleet following the successful launch of ASTRA 3B in May 2010. Astrium's Eurostar series has accumulated nearly 400 years of successful in-orbit operations.

Astrium is currently in the process of designing and manufacturing five more satellites for SES based on its Eurostar E3000 platform: ASTRA 2E, ASTRA 2F, ASTRA 2G and ASTRA 5B are all scheduled for launch between 2012 and 2014 and are designed to deliver high quality broadcast, VSAT and broadband services in Europe and Africa for SES; whilst SES-6 will support SES' growth in Latin America, offering 50 percent more C-Band capacity for the cable community, and retaining the unique capability to distribute content between the Americas and Europe on the same high powered beam.

SES Astra Signs Agreement With Telekom Srbija
SES ASTRA, an SES company (Euronext Paris and Luxembourg Stock Exchange: SESG), announced that it has signed a capacity agreement with Telekom Srbija for the Direct-to-Home transmission of the public TV channels RTS Sat and Radio Beograd in Serbia. The channels will be broadcast free-to-air via SES ASTRA's orbital position 19.2 degrees East starting from June 1, 2011. With Telekom Srbija SES ASTRA has won an important anchor customer for its 19.2 degrees East orbital position in the Balkan region.

Ferdinand Kayser, Chief Commercial Officer of SES, said: "We are very pleased to have signed this capacity agreement with Telekom Srbija which marks a breakthrough in our strategy to position 19.2 degrees East as new orbital position for Direct-to-Home reception in the Balkan region. With RTS Sat and Radio Beograd we have now added an attractive offer to our channel neighborhood at 19.2 degrees East bouquet which will further help to grow our reach in that dynamic region."
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