The SES-1 satellite has safely arrived at the Baikonour Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan onboard an Antonov cargo plane, SES World Skies has announced. The SES-1 spacecraft, manufactured by Orbital Sciences Corporation, will now be readied for launch onboard an ILS Proton Breeze M booster, scheduled for lift off on April 24.
The new satellite will replace SES’ existing AMC-2 and AMC-4 satellites at the orbital position of 101 degrees West and is an integral part of SES’ satellite replacement programme over North America. The spacecraft carries 24 C-band transponders as well as 24 Ku-band transponders of 36 MHz capacity each and has been designed to have a minimum expected service time of 15 years.
Six of the channels in each band can be cross-strapped to the opposite band, enabling new service capability. SES-1 is based on Orbital’s space-proven Star 2.4 platform, the largest and most powerful geostationary communications satellites Orbital builds, and will generate approximately five kilowatts of payload power. With SES-2 and SES-3, SES has two additional satellites under procurement with Orbital for deployment into the North American arc. SES-1, SES-2 and SES-3 will deliver full 50 state coverage from their strategically important locations over the US in both C- and Ku-Band.
Said Rob Bednarek, president and CEO of SES World Skies, in a statement: “SES-1 will provide uninterrupted replacement capacity at the important orbital position of 101 degrees West, from where SES WORLD SKIES feeds TV programming into virtually every cable network in the US. As such, the launch of SES-1 will be an important event to a number of our North American customers.”
“SES currently has two additional spacecraft under construction with Orbital Sciences Corporation, but SES-1 marks the first launch within our comprehensive replacement program over North America,” said Martin Halliwell, president of SES Engineering. “We look forward to another Proton success as the combined teams of ILS, Orbital and SES go through the SES-1 launch count down over the next few weeks.”