SES Taps Arianespace for Launch in 2017 4th Quarter


WASHINGTON — Arianespace will launch the SES-12 telecommunications satellite for SES of Luxembourg aboard an Ariane 5 rocket in the fourth quarter of 2017 under a contract announced by the satellite operator Jan. 22.

SES-12, under construction by Airbus Defence and Space of Europe, will be used for direct-to-home television broadcasting, very small aperture terminal and high-throughput data services in the Asia Pacific region, SES said. The satellite will join SES-8 and replace SES’s NSS-6 satellite at 95 degrees east longitude, a location from which the company currently serves some 20 million television households in India and Indonesia.

Based on Airbus’ Eurostar 3000 satellite platform, SES-12 carries 68 Ku- and eight Ka-band transponders and is designed to operate for 15 years. The satellite also features an electric plasma propulsion system that will be used for both orbit-raising and station-keeping maneuvers.

The launch, from Europe’s Guiana Space Center spaceport near Kourou, French Guiana, will be the 40th of an SES satellite aboard an Ariane rocket, SES said.