Lockheed Launches 29th A2100 Satellite
The Astra-1KR telecommunications satellite, designed and built by Lockheed Martin for SES Astra of Betzdorf, Luxembourg, was launched successfully Thursday from Cape Canaveral, Fla., aboard an Atlas V launch vehicle provided by International Launch Services (ILS), a Lockheed Martin joint venture.
Initial contact with the satellite, called acquisition of signal, was confirmed at Lockheed’s satellite tracking station in Uralla, Australia.
Astra-1KR is the 29th Lockheed Martin A2100 series of spacecraft launched and the first of two A2100 spacecraft to be delivered to SES Astra this year. Astra-1KR is a high-power Ku-band satellite that features 32 transponders that will provide distribution of direct-to-home broadcast services across Europe. Operating from 19.2 degrees east, Astra-1KR is designed for a minimum service life of 15 years. Astra-1KR will also provide continuity to the Astra fleet at that orbital location, replacing primarily Astra 1B and 1C.
Astra-1KR is the third launch this year for Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems. EchoStar X was successfully launched in mid-February and JCSAT-9 was successfully launched on April 12.