HISPASAT chooses Arianespace to launch its Amazonas 4A and AG1 satellites
Spanish operator Hispasat has once again chosen launch services company Arianespace, this time for its two satellites Amazonas-4A and Hispasat AG1.
They will be the 8th and 9th satellites from the Hispasat group to be launched by Arianespace.
Carlos Espinós, Chief Executive Officer of HISPASAT, and Jean-Yves Le Gall, Chairman and CEO of Arianespace, announced today in Paris the signature of the Amazonas-4A and Hispasat AG1 launch contracts, in a ceremony attended by Jean-Jacques Dordain, Director General of the European Space Agency (ESA), and Magali Vaissière, Director of Telecommunications and Integrated Applications at ESA. The launching of these new satellites implies a new advancement in the growth and expansion of the Spanish operator.
Amazonas 4A will be launched by an Ariane 5 or Soyuz rocket in early 2014 from the Guiana Space Center, Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana. Built by Orbital Sciences Corporation using a GEOStar 2.4 platform, the new HISPASAT Group’s satellite will be located at orbital position 61º West. The Amazonas 4A satellite will carry a payload of 24 Ku-band transponders and has a planned launch mass of 3 tons. With a lifespan of 15 years, the Amazonas 4A will enhance HISPASAT’s space capacity in Latin America to provide an extended range of communications and television services. Amazonas 4A will be the eighth Spanish satellite launched by Arianespace.
The launch services company first orbited Hispasat 1A and 1B in 1992 and 1993, then was chosen by HISPASAT and its subsidiary HISDESAT in 2005 and 2006 for the launch of the XTAR-Eur and Spainsat satellites. Amazonas 2 and Hispasat 1E were orbited in 2009 and 2010, and Arianespace plans to launch Amazonas 3 in early 2013.
Hispasat AG1. The ninth HISPASAT’s satellite launched by Arianespace will be the Hispasat AG1, the first mission of the Small Geo platform developed by OHB Systems (Germany) with the European Space Agency (ESA) and HISPASAT. Hispasat AG1 includes the avant-garde regenerative REDSAT payload that will allow the company to use the satellite´s power in a more agile and efficient way, substantially increasing its transmission capacity with the subsequent reduction in communications costs.
The Hispasat AG1 satellite, that will be launched by an Ariane 5 in late 2014, will have a planned launch mass of 3.2 tons and will carry up to 20 Ku-band transponders and up to 3 Ka-band transponders, as well as innovative active antennas of reconfigurable beams. After signing this contract, HISPASAT CEO Carlos Espinós said: “With this new satellite, millions of South Americans will gain access to high-quality telecom and TV services. Our new satellite will meet market requirements, in particular for broadcasts of the Football World Cup in 2014 and the Olympic Games in 2016 that will take place in Brazil.
As for the AG1, it represents a new milestone in the path of HISPASAT’s innovation, incorporating a new and more efficient payload”. Magali Vaissière, ESA’s Director of Telecommunications and Integrated Applications, added: “We express full satisfaction that HISPASAT has selected Arianespace as launch service provider for Hispasat AG1. We believe that this choice will strengthen the small GEO Programme to materialise in full the benefits of the development activities, both in the interest of our partner HISPASAT and of all the participating Member States”.
Jean-Yves Le Gall, Arianespace Chairman and CEO, added: “We are very proud and very honored to once again be chosen by such a prestigious customer. Since the launch of Hispasat 1A in 1992, Arianespace and HISPASAT have maintained a very strong relationship of mutual trust. Being chosen by a major European operator to orbit their latest satellites is a significant mark of confidence in Arianespace, and also clear recognition of the quality and excellence of our launch services”.
Arianespace is the world’s leading satellites launch company, providing innovation to its customers since 1980. Backed by 21 shareholders and the European Space Agency, the company offers an international workforce renowned for a culture of commitment and excellence. As of 1st September 2012, 208 Ariane launches, 26 Soyuz launches (2 at the Guiana Space Center and 24 at Baikonur with Starsem) and the first launch of Vega had been performed. The company has a backlog of 19 Ariane 5, 15 Soyuz and 3 Vega launches, equal to more than three years of business.
About the HISPASAT Group
The HISPASAT Group is comprised of companies with a presence in Spain as well as Latin America, where its Brazilian affiliate HISPAMAR operates the Amazonas fleet of satellites. The Group is the leading satellite communications operator in the broadcast and distribution of content in Spanish and Portuguese, including the transmission of important Direct to Home (DTH) and High Definition television platforms. HISPASAT is one of the most important companies in the sector by revenue and the main communications bridge between Europe and America.