SES ASTRA has awarded Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems (LMCSS) the contract to design and manufacture two high powered communications satellites to be deployed at ASTRA's prime continental European orbital position of 19.2° East.
Due to be launched in the second half of 2005 and in 2006, respectively, the satellites will be built on Lockheed's reliable A2100 platform and will have minimum service lives of 15 years.
The first, ASTRA 1KR, will feature 32 active Ku-band transponders in the FSS band, with a TWTA output power of 140 W and a pan-European footprint.
The second will be built in parallel and will serve two missions - in case of an ASTRA 1KR launch failure it will replace that spacecraft; if the launch is a success, it will be reconfigured to include a Ka-band payload and become ASTRA 1L.
It will be designed in order to reinforce SES ASTRA's inter-satellite back-up concept at a single orbital position, by providing satellite protection in the Ku- (FSS & BSS) and Ka-bands.
This satellite will feature 29 active Ku-band transponders as well as a two-transponder Ka-band payload for interactive applications.