The launch of ATLANTIC BIRD 1 is scheduled for Tuesday, August 27th, between
7.30 p.m. and 8.15 p.m. local time (12.30 a.m. and 1.15 a.m., August 28th
CET), on an Ariane 5 from the Kourou Space Centre in French Guiana. ATLANTIC
BIRD 1 is the first satellite for commercial telecommunications developed
entirely in Italy by prime contractor Alenia Spazio (a Finmeccanica

From its orbital position at 12.5o West over the Atlantic Ocean, ATLANTIC
BIRD 1 is optimised for connectivity from the eastern seaboard of the
Americas into Europe, North Africa and the near Middle East for applications
that include video distribution and contribution services, corporate
networks, satellite newsgathering and IP trunking.

ATLANTIC BIRD 1 has a designed operational life of 15 years and is based on
a flexible three-axis stabilised platform, derived from the Italsat
satellite and consolidated with Sicral and Artemis, with an optimised
power/weight ratio.

ATLANTIC BIRD 1 is a state-of-the-art and internationally competitive space
product that will contribute to the ability of Italian industry to
participate in future broadband satellite programmes, in which Alenia Spazio
is playing an important role with the SkyplexNet and Euroskyway multimedia
systems. The innovative technology used to build the satellite can be seen,
for example, in the integrated control system for attitude control and data
transmission, and the antenna group, which, together with the 24 Ku-band
transponders, enable flexible connections between the various coverage

Another new aspect is the financial arrangement in which Cofiri, a recently
privatised leading finance group, is the arranger and backer of the
operation. The group commissioned Alenia Spazio as industrial builder of
ATLANTIC BIRD 1 and leased all capacity on the satellite to Eutelsat, one of
the world’s leading satellite operators.

ATLANTIC BIRD 1 will be launched together with the first Meteosat Second
Generation (MSG), a new series of meteorological satellites to which Alenia
Spazio has made a major contribution in the realisation of the
communications payload, the antennas and Telemetry and Control equipment.