Transfer of the pan African satellite Rascom-QAF1 to its launch site in French Guiana
05 November 2007
Cannes, November 5, 2007 - Thales Alenia Space today announced that it has transferred the Rascom-QAF1 communications satellite to the launch site in Kourou, French Guiana.
Rascom-QAF1, built by Thales Alenia Space as part of a turnkey contract with RascomStar-QAF, will provide telecommunication services in rural areas of Africa, as well as domestic and international connections, direct TV broadcast services and Internet access during 15 years.
The Rascom-QAF1 satellite has a particular importance for the African countries because it will make it possible for these populations to benefit from broadband communications services. The Rascom system will provide an expanded range of value-added services to all African countries that will be using the system, which will include:
* Large-scale, low-cost telecom services in rural areas, based on the use of appropriate technologies;
* Inter-urban links in each member-country;
* Direct international links between all member-countries;
* Direct TV broadcast and Internet access services;
* Value-added broadband services.
The African rural and urban areas will be thus equipped with a key infrastructure enabling to deliver communication services to everyone, at very low cost. The satellite-based solutions are particularly adapted to match this type of requirements by ensuring a broad geographic coverage at a cost for connection among the weakest. This program illustrates the common willingness of the African countries to reduce the digital divide and make telecommunications a powerful socio-economic development lever.
Based on a Spacebus 4000B3 platform, Rascom-QAF1 is equipped with 12 Ku-band transponders and eight C-band transponders. It will weigh about 3,200 kg at launch, will have a 6.4 kW power end of life and will be positioned at 2.85 degrees East.
The Rascom-QAF1 launch campaign should start shortly, for a launch by Arianespace schedule in next December with an Ariane 5 GS rocket.
About Thales Alenia Space
European leader in satellite systems and at the forefront of orbital infrastructures, Thales Alenia Space is a joint venture between Thales (67%) and Finmeccanica (33%). Together with Telespazio, Thales Alenia Space forms a Space Alliance between the two groups. The company is a worldwide reference in telecoms, radar and optical Earth observation, defense and security, navigation and science. With 7200 employees and 11 industrial sites, Thales Alenia Space is located in France, Italy, Spain and Belgium.
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