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Astrium To Build New Astra Satellite

* ASTRA 3B to be launched end of 2009
* Further development of ASTRA’s orbital position 23.5°East

Betzdorf, 21 November 2006

SES ASTRA, an SES GLOBAL company (Euronext Paris and Luxembourg Stock Exchange: SESG), has announced today that it has awarded the contract for the construction of its new satellite, ASTRA 3B, to the European satellite manufacturer ASTRIUM. As prime contractor for ASTRA 3B, ASTRIUM will design and build the satellite.

ASTRA 3B will be a state-of-the-art Ku and Ka-band spacecraft designed for the distribution of both direct-to-home (DTH) broadcast services and two-way broadband services across Europe. After ASTRA 2B and ASTRA 1M, ASTRA 3B is the third ASTRA satellite to be built by ASTRIUM. The satellite will have 52 transponders of which 20 transponders are to replace existing in-orbit capacity and 32 transponders which will create new capacity, thereby strenghtening 23.5E as the third orbital hotspot for European DTH services. ASTRA 3B is expected to be launched end of 2009.

ASTRA 3B will be built on a Eurostar E3000 platform, the latest version of the highly successful Eurostar series. Seven Eurostar E3000 are currently in operation in orbit, and 10 more are at various stages of production. To date, 45 Eurostar satellites of various series have been ordered from ASTRIUM, 31 of which have been successfully launched and have proven to be highly reliable in commercial service.

“We are very pleased to work with the ASTRIUM team for the third time”, says Ferdinand Kayser, President and CEO of SES ASTRA. “ASTRA 3B will significantly strengthen our orbital position 23.5° East which becomes increasingly attractive for DTH broadcasters across Europe. Together with ASTRIUM, we look forward to developing this new generation of satellites, thus increasing our satellite fleet for the benefits of our customers.”

Antoine Bouvier, CEO of ASTRIUM Satellites, said: “We are extremely pleased that SES ASTRA which values our know-how and technology has reaffirmed its confidence with this latest order. The tight links established by our technical teams on the ASTRA 1M project have undoubtedly contributed to the decision in favour of a Eurostar E3000. This latest success further reinforces our reputation as a space industry leader for the largest operators”.


SES ASTRA is the leading Direct-to-Home (DTH) satellite system in Europe, delivering services to some 107 million Direct-to-Home and cable households. The ASTRA satellite fleet currently comprises 13 satellites, transmitting more than 1,700 analogue and digital television and radio channels. SES ASTRA also provides satellite-based multimedia, internet and telecommunication services to enterprises, governments and their agencies. With 19 High Definition (HD) channels available via its satellites today, ASTRA is also the most important HDTV broadcasting platform in Europe. ASTRA's prime orbital positions are 19.2° East, 28.2° East, and 23.5° East.

SES ASTRA is an SES GLOBAL company (Euronext Paris and Luxembourg Stock Exchange: SESG). SES GLOBAL wholly owns three market-leading satellite operators, SES ASTRA in Europe, SES AMERICOM in North America, and SES NEW SKIES, which provides global connectivity as well as coverage. The Company also holds strategic participations in AsiaSat in Asia, Star One in Latin America, SES Sirius in Europe, Ciel in Canada and Quetzsat in Mexico. Americom Government Services provides network solutions and bandwidth to the US government and its contractors. SES GLOBAL provides outstanding satellite communications solutions via a fleet of 44 satellites on 33 orbital positions around the globe. Additional information on SES GLOBAL is available at:

Further information


Astrium, a wholly owned subsidiary of EADS, is dedicated to providing civil and defence space systems. In 2005, Astrium had a turnover of €2.7 billion and 11,000 employees in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain and the Netherlands. It has two main business units: Astrium Space Transportation, for launchers and orbital infrastructure, and Astrium Satellites for spacecraft and ground segment. Its wholly owned subsidiary, Astrium Services, develops and delivers satellite services.

EADS is a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2005, EADS generated revenues of €34.2 billion and employed a workforce of more than 113,000.


For more information please contact:
Markus Payer
Tel.: + 352 710 725 500

Rémi Roland
Tel.: +33 (0) 1 42 24 27 34

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