Press releases

Thales Alenia Space to build state-of-the-art ASTRA 1P and ASTRA 1Q satellites for SES

Press releases

Thales Alenia Space to build state-of-the-art ASTRA 1P and ASTRA 1Q satellites for SES

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    The combination of Spacebus NEO flight proven product line and Space Inspire software defined solution to serve customer’s capacity at 19.2°E

    Cannes, November 18, 2021 – Thales Alenia Space, a joint venture between Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33%), announced that it has signed a contract with SES to deliver 2 Ku-band geostationary satellites, ASTRA 1P and ASTRA 1Q to serve SES’s major European broadcasters’ content distribution operations as well as deliver connectivity services over Europe at 19.2°E.

    Spacebus NEO, the most attractive solution for very demanding capacitive missions

    ASTRA 1P, a classic wide-beam satellite, will support SES’s prime TV neighbourhood and enable content owners, private and public broadcasters across Germany, France and Spain to continue broadcasting satellite TV channels in the highest-picture quality in the most cost-efficient manner. It will be based on the full electric and powerful Spacebus NEO platform developed by Thales Alenia Space and already flight proven in orbit.

    Space Inspire innovative product line for instant in-orbit adjustment to the demand

    ASTRA 1Q, a next-generation software defined satellite with both wide beams and high-throughput spot beams, will be able to support direct-to-home (DTH) operations like ASTRA 1P. In addition, the fully flexible ASTRA 1Q is customisable on orbit and can be deployed easily to other orbital positions, enabling SES to serve the dynamic needs of its video and data customers well into the future. It will be based on the Space Inspire (INstant SPace In-orbit REconfiguration) innovative product line allowing seamless telecommunication mission and services reconfiguration, instant in-orbit adjustment to the demand, outstanding flexibility for video broadcasting and broadband connectivity services while maximizing the efficiency & effective use of the satellite resources.

    “We are honoured that SES has renewed its confidence in Thales Alenia Space after entrusting us with the construction of SES-17, recently launched and on its way to the geostationary orbit as well as with SES-22 and SES-23 currently under development in our premises”, declared Hervé Derrey, CEO of Thales Alenia Space. He added: “To serve our customer’s need, we are both offering our flight proven Spacebus NEO full electric product line as well as our Space Inspire software defined solution embarking major innovations to fully fit new satellites communication environment. I also would like to thank again the French and European space agencies - CNES and ESA - for their continuous support allowing European industries to develop major breakthrough with disruptive technologies and so to take the lead on major innovations”.

    “From our prime orbital neighborhood of 19.2 degrees East, the ASTRA 1P and ASTRA 1Q satellites will have the resiliency, reliability and redundancy that our video customers need, and will be able to deliver continued premium services well into 2040,” said Ruy Pinto, CTO of SES. “Today our current satellites operating in this prime orbital slot serve 118 million households, and thanks to the advanced satellite technology delivered by Thales Alenia Space we will ensure we continue to meet the dynamic needs of all the markets we serve in the region.”

    Artistic views © Thales Alenia Space


    Drawing on over 40 years of experience and a unique combination of skills, expertise and cultures, Thales Alenia Space delivers cost-effective solutions for telecommunications, navigation, Earth observation, environmental management, exploration, science and orbital infrastructures. Governments and private industry alike count on Thales Alenia Space to design satellite-based systems that provide anytime, anywhere connections and positioning, monitor our planet, enhance management of its resources, and explore our Solar System and beyond. Thales Alenia Space sees space as a new horizon, helping to build a better, more sustainable life on Earth. A joint venture between Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33%), Thales Alenia Space also teams up with Telespazio to form the parent companies’ Space Alliance, which offers a complete range of services. Thales Alenia Space posted consolidated revenues of approximately 1.850 billion euros in 2020 and has around 7,700 employees in 10 countries with 17 sites in Europe and a plant in the US.


    Sandrine Bielecki
    Tel: +33 (0)4 92 92 70 94

    Catherine des Arcis
    Tel.: +33 (0)6 78 64 63 97

    Marija Kovac
    Tel: +39 (0)6 415 129 91