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Ariane 5 launches SES-2 satellite with chirp hosted payload on board
by Staff Writers
Kourou, French Guiana (SPX) Sep 22, 2011

Artist's rendering of SES-2 in orbit - Orbital Science image.

SES S.A. reports that the SES-2 satellite was successfully launched into space on board an Ariane 5 ECA launch vehicle. Liftoff of Ariane 5 occurred spot on time on September 21th at 18:38 pm local time.

SES-2 is a hybrid C- and Ku-band satellite which will replace SES' AMC-3 spacecraft at 87 degrees West and provide coverage of North America and the Caribbean. The satellite will continue distributing advanced digital media from one of the world's largest TV neighborhoods, as well as supporting a variety of enterprise, VSAT and government customers.

The satellite's easterly location with its excellent coverage of the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean was specifically designed to provide communications links to offshore platforms for customers in the oil and gas and maritime markets. The cross-strapping capabilities from C- to Ku-band on the spacecraft will enable customers to further optimize their enterprise networks.

SES-2 is based on Orbital's space-proven Star 2.4 platform, the largest and most powerful geostationary communications satellites Orbital builds. It carries 24 C-Band transponders and 24 Ku-Band transponders (36 MHz equivalents), generates approximately five kilowatts of payload power, and features a design life of 15 years.

The state-of-the-art spacecraft also carries the Commercially Hosted Infrared Payload (CHIRP) sensor specially developed for the US government for testing purposes. The CHIRP sensor features a fixed telescope that can view one quarter of the Earth from geosynchronous orbit.

Jean-Yves Le Gall, President and CEO of Arianespace, declared: "I would like to thank SES for placing their trust in us over the last two decades. SES-2 is the 35th satellite chosen by the SES group to be launched by Arianespace. This latest success once again shows, if need be, that Arianespace continues to set the standard for launch services delivered to the world's leading operators, based on its unrivaled availability and reliability."

Romain Bausch, President and CEO of SES, stated: "Roughly two months after the successful launch of SES-3, the launch success of SES-2 on Ariane marks another important event for SES' North American customers, completing SES' encompassing satellite fleet renewal over North America. SES would like to thank Arianespace and Orbital for a mission well executed.

"Fitted with CHIRP, SES' first hosted payload, SES-2 is also an important demonstration of how hosting government special purpose payloads on commercial satellites can provide cost effective means for experimenting with new technologies."

The next SES launch is scheduled for September 30th, when an ILS Proton booster will orbit SES' QuetzSat satellite from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

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