ASTRA 2C, a Boeing 601HP satellite, was successfully launched last night aboard a Proton rocket provided by International Launch Services (ILS). Liftoff occurred at 7:49 a.m. local time from Baikonur, Kazakhstan on June 16 (1:49 a.m. GMT; 6:49 p.m. PDT on June 15) and the satellite's first signals were received about seven hours later at Sydney, Australia, confirming that systems are operating normally. ASTRA 2C is the first of two satellites to be launched by BSS in one week.
Built for Société Européenne des Satellites (SES) by Boeing Satellite Systems (BSS), a unit of The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA), ASTRA 2C is a high-power version of the Boeing 601 satellite, the most-often purchased satellite model in the world.
"With this launch, Boeing has built and delivered a total of nine spacecraft to SES," said Randy Brinkley, president of Boeing Satellite Systems. "I think the fact that SES returns to Boeing repeatedly is a testament to our technology and to Boeing's continuing commitment to SES. We congratulate them on this newest addition to their fleet."
"This 12th consecutive ASTRA launch success is the result of a track-proven, highly professional collaboration between ILS' U.S.-Russian satellite launch experts, Boeing's satellite manufacturing specialists, and SES' own dedicated technical team, all of which deserve to be thanked for their efforts. Their combined know-how and flawless teamwork has once again ensured that Proton has served ASTRA right up to expectations," states Romain Bausch, Director General and Chairman of the Management Committee of SES.
ASTRA 2C is designed to be positioned at either 19.2 or 28.2 degrees East longitude and has a contractual service life of 15 years. The satellite will provide pan-European coverage and features 40 Ku-band transponders, 32 active at beginning of satellite life and 28 at end. The flexible ASTRA 2C payload design makes it possible to select 32 frequency channels out of a total possible of 56 at any time. In orbit, the 85-foot-long spacecraft will weigh approximately 5,500 pounds. With both single- and dual-junction gallium arsenide solar cells on the satellite, ASTRA 2C is an 8,500-kilowatt satellite.
The SES Group operates a satellite services network providing seamless broadband communications spanning four continents. Based in Luxembourg, Société Européenne des Satellites S.A. (Luxembourg Stock Exchange: SES; Frankfurt Exchange: SDSL) is the operator of ASTRA, Europe's leading direct-to-home Satellite System, and a strategic shareholder in premier satellite operations like AsiaSat (34.10%), NSAB in Scandinavia (50%), and Star One in Latin America (19.99%).
BSS is the world's leading manufacturer of commercial communications satellites and a major provider of space systems, satellites, and payloads for national defense, science and environmental applications.
The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA), headquartered in Seattle, WA, is the largest aerospace company in the world and the United States' leading exporter. It is the world's largest manufacturer of commercial jetliners and military aircraft, and the largest NASA contractor. The company's capabilities in aerospace also include rotorcraft, electronic and defense systems, missiles, rocket engines, launch vehicles, and advanced information and communication systems. The company has an extensive global reach with customers in 145 countries and manufacturing operations throughout the United States, Canada and Australia.