September 17, 2008

Russia: Astra 1M Broadcast Satellite to Be Launched Late 2008

Text of report in English by corporate-owned Russian military news agency Interfax-AVN website

Baikonur, 17 September: Luxembourg telecommunications satellite Astra 1M is due to be launched from Baikonur in late October - early November, the Baikonur federal space centre told Interfax.

"The launch will be carried out by the Proton M carrier rocket and the Breeze M upper stage rocket," a source said.

A rolling stock carrying the Proton M rocket was sent to Baikonur from the Moscow Khrunichev Plant last night, he said.

A contract for building Astra 1M was received by EADS Astrium from SES Astra in July 2005.

The satellite was built on the Eurostar E3000 platform and carries 36 transponders. The spacecraft has a launch mass of 5,300 kilograms and will be operating in the geostationary orbit for 15 years, providing television and communications services, including high-definition television (HDTV), for users in Europe, Northern Africa and the Middle East.

Originally published by Interfax-AVN military news agency website, Moscow, in English 1400 17 Sep 08.

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