Ariane lofts ABS-2 into orbit

Arianespace launched two satellites into orbit late on February 7th. ABS-2, for Asia Broadcast Satellite, is headed towards 75 degrees East where it will serve the Asia-Pacific region.

ABS-2 was manufactured by Space Systems/Loral (SSL). It is a highly sophisticated multi-mission satellite, featuring up to 89 active C, Ku and Ka-band transponders across 10 different beams. ABS-2 brings unparalleled coverage and expansion capacity at ABS’ prime location of 75 degrees East, extending affordable and reliable communications and broadcast services to the emerging markets of the world.

“We are delighted with the launch of ABS-2 satellite, our first satellite launch. We would like to thank both Arianespace and SSL for their collaboration for delivering today’s successful launch,” said Tom Choi, CEO of ABS. “Our customers are looking forward to the new capacity on ABS-2 at 75E, a new state of the art satellite serving the Eastern hemisphere. The ABS-2 satellite will significantly contribute towards our expansion plans and is part of our growth strategy to increase the ABS satellite fleet and becoming a global satellite operator in the coming years.”

The second satellite launched was a military mission, the Athena-Fidus payload – the 50th satellite launched by Arianespace for European defense purposes. Thales Alenia Space built the 3,080-kg.-category spacecraft as prime contractor to customer Telespazio, working on behalf of the French CNES and Italian ASI space agencies, as well as the French DGA and Italian Segredifesa defense ministry organizations.  Athena-Fidus is to deliver telecommunications services to both armed forces and homeland security units in France and Italy, operated from a geostationary orbit position of 38° East.

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