July 8, 2008

Arabsat’s Badr 6 Satellite Launched

Text of press release by Riyadh-based Arabsat on 8 July

The Arab Satellite Communications Organization (Arabsat) announced this morning that its Badr 6 satellite, the third of its fourth generation telecommunications satellites, was successfully boosted into orbit yesterday night from Europe's spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, by an Ariane 5-ECA rocket provided by Arianespace.

Khalid Balkeyour, president and CEO of Arabsat, announced that Badr 6 was placed into its correct orbital position at 0010 GMT when the last stage of the separation sequence from Ariane 5 took place.

The launch was transmitted live from French Guiana to a ceremony held in Paris, France organized by the launching and manufacturing companies (Arianespace, EADS-Astrium, Thales Alenia Space) and attended by a gathering of VIPs representing Arabsat owners, customers, partners and industry media from both the Arab and international world.

This successful launch is considered as a very important milestone in Arabsat's ambitious strategic plan to launch one new satellite per year until 2012.

Khalid Balkeyour added: "The superb joint effort and cooperation among the three launching and manufacturing companies was definitely behind this success, now enabling us to serve our business customers with the most advanced services and provide our more than 164 million viewers at 26 degrees east with an unrivalled level of in- orbit reliability and back-up over the Arab world and way beyond."

Provided by Alcatel Alenia Space, the Badr 6 payload has been integrated on an EADS-Astrium Satellite Eurostar E2000+ platform. Fitted with 20 transponders in Ku-band/BSS for Broadcasting Satellite Services, plus 24 in C-band for an extended range of telecommunications services.

Badr 6 will be co-located at Arabsat's 26 degrees east video "hot spot", joining the rest of the Badr constellation of Arabsat's direct-to-home satellites where it will provide capacity for its core direct TV broadcasting customers, notably the required extra capacity to support the high-definition TV take off in the Arab world, together with a much wider set of options for expanding its telephony and data transmissions services towards the African continent; Badr 6 will cover a stretched zone encompassing the entire Middle East and North Africa region (MENA), plus a large part of sub-Saharan Africa.

Originally published by Arabsat press release, Riyadh, in English 8 Jul 08.

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