Astrium has been awarded a contract to build the new ASTRA-1N satellite for SES ASTRA.

The spacecraft is scheduled for launch in 2011 and will be positioned at 19.2 degrees East to serve the German, French and Spanish markets.

ASTRA 1N will have 55 transponders with pan-European coverage and will operate in the Ku frequency band with an expected lifespan of 15 years.

The satellite will be built on a Eurostar E3000 platform, the latest version of Astrium’s Eurostar series. Eleven Eurostar E3000s are currently in operation in orbit, and 13 more have been ordered. After ASTRA 2B, 1M and 3B, ASTRA 1N is the fourth ASTRA satellite to be built by Astrium.

Ferdinand Kayser, president and chief executive officer of SES ASTRA, says: “With ASTRA 1N, we will have completed our comprehensive replacement programme at our prime orbital position of 19.2 degrees East and fully renewed our fleet at that position. This will also enable us to continue to respond to the strong demand for digital and high definition (HD) capacity, and to provide significant growth potential to key European markets.”

Source: Flight International