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Rascom-QAF1R and Nilesat 201 ready for launch

02 August 2010

Rascom-QAF1R and Nilesat 201 telecommunications satellites, designed and built by Thales Alenia Space, are now ready for launch. Both satellites dedicated respectively to RascomStar-QAF and NILESAT satellites operators will be launched by an Ariane 5 ECA rocket on August 4th from Kourou in French Guiana.

Emmanuel Grave, Executive Vice President for Telecom activities, Thales Alenia Space notes: “This launch is an important milestone for the African continent as both satellites will provide Direct TV and radio broadcasting services as well as Internet access and value-added broadband services.” He adds: “Rascom-QAF1R will specifically contribute to bridging the digital divide by giving Africa access to advanced communications and information technologies, in particular rural telephony.”

Nilesat 201 will enable the Egyptian satellite operator NILESAT to ensure service continuity in delivering digital Direct to Home (DTH) TV, radio broadcasting and high-speed data transmission services to the North Africa and the Middle East starting in September 2010.

Built on a Spacebus 4000B2 platform, Nilesat 201 is fitted with 24 Ku-band and 4 Ka-band transponders. It will be positioned at 7 degrees West longitude and offers a design life of 15 years. Weight at launch is 3,200 kg, and it will generate 5.9 kW of payload power at end-of-life.

RASCOM-QAF1R will ensure service continuity for the operator RascomStar-QAF and its customers, providing low cost international connections between African countries and connecting isolated villages via low cost terminals.

Based on the Spacebus 4000B3 platform, the RASCOM-QAF1R satellite is equipped with 24 equivalent 36 MHz transponders in both Ku-band and C-band. It will weigh about 3,050 kg at launch, and provide 6.4 kW of power at end-of-life. Positioned at 2.9 degrees East longitude, RASCOM-QAF1R will cover the African continent, as well as parts of Europe and the Middle East.

Thales Alenia Space participates in 15 launches this year including twelve telecommunication satellites (1), one observation satellite (2), two observation payload (3), two formation flying satellite equipments (4), five modules for the International Space Station (5).

1- ComSatBW, Arabsat 5A, Arabsat 5B, Rascom-QAF1R, Nilesat-201, W3B, Globalstar (x6)
2- COSMO-SkyMed,
3- Kompsat-5, CryoSat/Siral,
5- Node 3, Cupola, MPLM Leonardo, PMM, ATV Johannes Kepler’s Integrated Cargo Carrier,

About Thales Alenia Space

The European leader in satellite systems and a major player in orbital infrastructures, Thales Alenia Space is a joint venture between Thales (67%) and Finmeccanica (33%). Thales Alenia Space and Telespazio embody the two groups’ “Space Alliance”. Thales Alenia Space sets the global standard in solutions for space telecoms, radar and optical Earth observation, defense and security, navigation and science. The company achieved revenues of Euro 2 billion in 2009 and has a total of 7,200 employees located in 9 industrial sites in France, Italy, Spain and Belgium.

Thales Alenia Space Press Contacts

Florence Pontieux
Tel: +33 (0)1 57 77 91 26

Sandrine Bielecki
Tel: +33 (0)4 92 92 70 94

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