31st October 2006 - Launch preparation is well underway in Baikonur, Kazakhstan, for the launch of BADR-4, a Eurostar E2000+ satellite built by Astrium for the Arab Satellite Communications Organization (ARABSAT). The Proton Breeze M vehicle of International Launch Services (ILS) is scheduled for lift off on 8 November at 20:01 GMT (2:01 a.m. on 9 November Baikonur time).
The BADR-4 satellite, built by Astrium Satellites for ARABSAT, the communications satellite operator based in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, will carry direct-to-home television services, together with voice and data services, across the Middle East, North Africa and parts of Europe.
BADR-4 was shipped from Toulouse to Baikonur on 9 October 2006 in readiness for its launch scheduled in the night 8 to 9 November 2006. The fully fuelled spacecraft is now mated with the Breeze M upper stage and the Proton Breeze M vehicle, provided by International Launch Services (ILS), and is currently in the final stage of preparation.
Astrium Satellites is prime contractor for the satellite and responsible for launch and early operations as part of an in-orbit delivery contract. Astrium Satellites has also developed the Satellite Control Centers in Dirab (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) and in Tunis (Tunisia). The communications payload for the BADR-4 satellite was supplied by Alcatel Alenia Space.
The BADR-4 satellite is a Eurostar E2000+ model equipped with a payload featuring 32 transponders in Ku-band. With a launch mass of 3,280 kg, it will be the 31st Eurostar to orbit.
Once in service, the Astrium-built BADR-4 will offer a wide range of satellite communications services with the highest power level and the widest coverage over the Arab countries. Co-located with the rest of the BADR constellation of satellites at Arabsat's 26° East longitude video neighbourhood, BADR-4 will provide wider choices and new possibilities to an audience of 130 million viewers enjoying more than 240 TV channels and 90 radio stations, as well as serving all of the 324 millions inhabitants covered from Morocco and Algeria to the Arabian Gulf.
Astrium, a wholly owned subsidiary of EADS, is dedicated to providing civil and defence space systems. In 2005, Astrium had a turnover of €2.7 billion and 11,000 employees in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain and the Netherlands. It has two main business units: Astrium Space Transportation, for launchers and orbital infrastructure, and Astrium Satellites for spacecraft and ground segment. Its wholly owned subsidiary, Astrium Services, develops and delivers satellite services.
EADS is a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2005, EADS generated revenues of €34.2 billion and employed a workforce of more than 113,000.
For more information, please contact:
Remi Roland Astrium +33 (0)1 42 24 27 34
Frédéric-Pierre Isoz Astrium +33 (0)1 42 24 28 77
Jeremy Close Astrium (UK) +44 (0)1438 77 38 72