COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Satellite fleet operator SES will launch its mixed Ku- and Ka-band Astra 2E satellite aboard a European Ariane 5 rocket in mid-2013, Luxembourg-based SES and the Evry, France-based Arianespace launch consortium announced April 13.
Astra 2E is one of four satellites contracted in a single order from SES to manufacturer Astrium Satellites in November 2009 as part of SES’s broad fleet-replacement program. The contract with Arianespace is part of a previously signed multilaunch agreement, similar to an agreement SES signed with International Launch Services of McLean, Va., which operates the Russian Proton rocket.
The 6,000-kilogram Astra 2E will be located at SES’s core 28.2 degrees east orbital slot to provide television broadcasts in Europe and Africa. Its Ka-band payload will be used for broadband links in Europe as part of SES’s Astra2Connect consumer broadband service, which is currently using SES satellites in Ku-band.