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.


Warren Ferster is the Editor-in-Chief of SpaceNews and is responsible for all the news and editorial coverage in the weekly newspaper, the spacenews.com Web site and variety of specialty publications such as show dailies. He manages a staff of seven reporters...