Following an international call for tenders, Argentine satellite operator ARSAT has chosen Arianespace to launch its Arsat-1 satellite.
Arianespace announced today that it has signed the launch Service & Solutions contract with Argentine operator ARSAT (Empresa Argentina de Soluciones Satelitales Sociedad Anonima) to orbit the Arsat-1 satellite by mid-2012.
Weighing about 2,900 kg. at launch, Arsat-1 will be placed into geostationary transfer orbit by an Ariane 5 or Soyuz launcher from the Guiana Space Center, Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana.
Arsat-1 will be fitted with twelve 36 MHz, eight 54 MHz and four 72 MHz transponders, all in Ku band. It will offer a wide range of telecommunications, data transmission, telephone and television services mainly across all of Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and Paraguay.
The satellite is being built by the Argentine company INVAP, with Astrium and Thales Alenia Space as leading equipment suppliers. Arsat-1 will be the second Argentine satellite launched by Arianespace, after Nahuel 1A, orbited in 1997.
“We are very pleased with our selection of Arianespace to launch the first geostationary satellite built in Argentina,” said Pablo Tognetti, Chairman and CEO of ARSAT. “Our selection is the result of an international bid, in which price, excellence in space transportation and mission success ratio were critical in our decision.”
Jean-Yves Le Gall, Chairman and CEO of Arianespace, added, “Arianespace is especially proud to have this opportunity to work with a South American satellite operator, and we would like to thank ARSAT for selecting us. This latest contract, the ninth we have signed in 2010, is clear recognition of the quality and competitiveness of our launch Service & Solutions.”
Arianespace is the world’s leading launch Service & Solutions company, providing innovation to its customers since 1980. Backed by 24 shareholders and the European Space Agency, Arianespace offers an unrivalled family of launchers, comprising Ariane 5, Soyuz and Vega, and an international workforce renowned for a culture of commitment and excellence. As of 27 June 2010, Arianespace had launched a total of 281 payloads, including more than half of all the commercial satellites now in service worldwide. It has a backlog of 23 Ariane 5 and 17 Soyuz launches, equal to more than three years of business.
ARSAT is a company incorporated by the Argentine Government under a law passed in 2006. The company aims to develop the geostationary orbital slots assigned to the Argentine Republic by means of telecommunications satellites developed and built in Argentina, and to operate them and provide all kind of satellite services, voice, data, audio and video, to customers across the Americas. Currently holding Argentine orbital slots 81 degrees West and 72 degrees West, ARSAT is providing service to customers using satellite capacity obtained through strategic and commercial agreements with global operators.