The ASTRA-1KR telecommunications satellite, designed and built by Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT – News) for SES ASTRA of Betzdorf, Luxembourg, is ready for launch April 20 from Cape Canaveral, Fla., aboard an Atlas V launch vehicle provided by International Launch Services (ILS), a Lockheed Martin joint venture.

ASTRA-1KR is the 29th of Lockheed Martin’s A2100 series of spacecraft delivered to satellite operators around the world and the first of two A2100 spacecraft to be delivered to SES ASTRA this year. ASTRA-1KR is a high-power Ku-band satellite that features 32 transponders that will provide distribution of direct-to-home broadcast services across Europe. Operating from 19.2 degrees east, ASTRA-1KR is designed for a minimum service life of 15 years. ASTRA 1KR will also provide continuity to the ASTRA fleet at that orbital location, replacing primarily ASTRA 1B and 1C.

ASTRA-1KR is the third of a planned seven launches this year for Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems. EchoStar X was successfully launched in mid-February and JCSAT-9 was successfully launched on April 12.

Lockheed Martin’s highly reliable A2100 telecommunications satellite series has received several industry awards for reliability in its history, including Frost & Sullivan’s 2004 Satellite Reliability Award for excellence in the production of flexible and reliable communications satellites used in geosynchronous Earth orbit.

The Lockheed Martin A2100 geosynchronous spacecraft series is designed to meet a wide variety of commercial and government telecommunications needs ranging from Ka-band/broadband services and fixed satellite services in C-band and Ku-band payload configurations, to high-power direct broadcast services using the Ku-band frequency spectrum and S-band mobile satellite services. The A2100’s modular design features a reduction in parts, simplified construction, increased on-orbit reliability and reduced weight and cost.


The ASTRA Satellite System is the leading Direct-to-Home (DTH) satellite system in Europe, delivering services to some 107 million Direct-to-Home and cable households. The ASTRA satellite fleet currently comprises 13 satellites, transmitting in excess of 1600 analogue and digital television and radio channels as well as multimedia and Internet services. ASTRA’s two prime orbital positions for DTH services are 19.2 degrees East and 28.2 degrees East. Professional services such as Direct-to cable (DTC), Satellite Newsgathering (SNG) and Occasional Use are offered from the orbital position of 23.5 degrees East. For more information on SES ASTRA, visit:

SES ASTRA is an SES GLOBAL company (Euronext Paris and Luxembourg Stock Exchange: SESG). SES GLOBAL wholly owns three market-leading satellite operators, SES ASTRA in Europe, SES AMERICOM in the US and New Skies Satellites in the rest of the world. The Company also holds strategic participations in AsiaSat in Asia, Star One in Latin America and SES Sirius in Europe. Americom Government Services provides network solutions and bandwidth to the US government and its contractors. SES GLOBAL provides outstanding satellite communications solutions via a fleet of 43 satellites across the globe. Additional info on SES GLOBAL at:

About International Launch Services (ILS)

International Launch Services is the global leader in the space launch industry, offering the two best systems: Atlas and Proton. With a remarkable launch tempo, the Atlas and Proton vehicles have consistently demonstrated the reliability and flexibility that have made them the preferred choice among satellite operators worldwide. ILS, a Lockheed Martin joint venture, was formed in 1995, and is based in McLean, Va., a suburb of Washington, D.C. For more information, visit

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin employs about 135,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2005 sales of $37.2 billion.

Media Contact: Dee Valleras, 215-497-4185; e-mail,