SES Orders Two State-of-the-Art Satellites for its Prime TV Neighbourhood Serving 118 Million Homes

ASTRA 1P and ASTRA 1Q satellites (Credit: Thales Alenia Space)

Two satellites at 19.2 degrees East will enable SES’s major European broadcasters’ content distribution operations as well as deliver connectivity services over Europe.

Luxembourg, 18 November 2021 (SES PR) – SES announced today it has ordered two geostationary (GEO) Ku-band satellites for its prime orbital slot at 19.2 degrees East to maintain the premium services it provides to its European video customers and to capture new opportunities in the region. These two replacement satellites – ASTRA 1P and ASTRA 1Q – will be built by Thales Alenia Space, a joint venture between Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33%) and are expected to launch in 2024.

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Isotropic Systems and SES Redefine Global Satellite Services with First-Ever Multi-Orbit Field Tests

Credit: Isotropic Systems

Isotropic Systems simultaneously connects multiple SES satellites across separate orbits to converge broadband satellite networks and provide industry-leading quality of service and experience

READING, UK/Luxembourg, 2 November 2021 (Isotropic Systems PR) – Isotropic Systems, the leading developer of transformational multi-link satellite technology, and SES today announced the successful completion of the first-ever simultaneous multi-orbit antenna field tests, a game-changing development empowering a new age of connectivity on land, in the air and at sea for both civil and defense communications.

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Ariane 5 Launches Europe’s Advanced Data-driven Satellite

SES-17 satellite prior to being placed on Ariane 5. (Credit: ESA/CNES/ArianeSpace)

KOUROU, French Guiana (ESA PR) — One of the largest telecommunications satellites ever built in Europe has been launched and is on its way to geostationary orbit.

The satellite includes cutting-edge technology developed under ESA’s programme of Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems. It will connect underserved areas and accelerate digital inclusion, as well as providing broadband connectivity for commercial shipping and aviation through its operator, SES.

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Ariane 5 Launches Largest Payload into Geostationary Transfer Orbit

Ariane 5 lifts off on Oct. 23, 2021. (Credit: Arianespace – ESA -CNES)
  • For its 11th launch of the year, the second using Ariane 5, Arianespace orbited two geostationary satellites: SES-17, a telecommunications satellite operated by SES, and SYRACUSE 4A, a telecommunications satellite developed for the French Ministry of the Armed Forces. Thales Alenia Space manufactured both.
  • For its 111th launch, Ariane 5 executed the highest performing flight by any launcher to geostationary transfer orbit: with two payloads on board, SES-17 and SYRACUSE 4A, with a total mass of 10264 kg, Ariane 5 achieves a world record for injection into this orbit. This launch also included a 1.5 m extension placed under the long fairing in order to adapt it to the specific needs of its two passengers.

KOUROU, French Guiana (Arianespace PR) — On Sunday, October 24, at 02:10 UTC, Ariane 5 lifted off from the Guiana Space Center (CSG), Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, successfully orbiting two satellites built by Thales Alenia Space: SES-17, a telecommunications satellite operated by SES, and SYRACUSE 4A, a telecommunications satellite developed for the French Ministry of the Armed Forces.

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Ariane 5 Launch Postponed

Ariane 5 VA254 lifts off on July 30, 2021. (Credit: Arianespace)

KOUROU, French Guiana (Arianespace PR) — Due to additional checks on the ground support equipment, the flight VA255 – initially scheduled for October 22 – has been scrubbed. Investigations are ongoing in order to identify a new launch date. The Ariane 5 launch vehicle and its two spacecraft are in stable and safe conditions on the launch pad.

Arianespace will orbit two geostationary satellites: SES-17, a high throughput satellite operated by SES and SYRACUSE 4A, a telecommunications satellite developed for the French Ministry of Armed Forces.

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OQ Technology, GovSat Sign MOU to Collaborate on IoT Products for Defence and Government Sectors

LUXEMBOURG, 29 September 2021 (OQ Technology PR) – OQ Technology, a Luxembourg-based satellite 5G IoT company, and GovSat, a public-private joint venture between the Luxembourg government and satellite operator SES, have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to collaborate on developing and testing satellite-based IoT (Internet of things) and machine-to-machine (M2M) products aimed at defence and government sectors.

By combining OQ Technology’s 5G products and services with GovSat’s end-to-end satcom solutions, already supporting customers such as NATO, the UK’s Ministry of Defence (MOD) and the Belgium Navy, the companies aim to offer highly scalable applications for air, land and maritime missions across the world. Customers of these future applications will benefit from access to real-time 5G IoT coverage, dedicated geostationary (GEO) capabilities, specialized frequencies and licenses, and a wider footprint of multiple beams.

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Isotropic Systems Secures Over $37 Million in Additional Series B Funding to Develop Unique Multi-link antenna Through to Product Launch in 2022

  • Isotropic Systems completes a new industry and VC-backed funding round, led by the world’s first listed space tech fund, Seraphim Space Investment Trust PLC
  • This latest funding round takes the total capital secured from investor and customer support to over $100 million
  • Strong strategic investor support from existing investors including AEI HorizonX, Promus Ventures through its Luxembourg based space investment fund Orbital Ventures, SES and UK Government
  • Secures production and commercialisation of Isotropic’s next-gen ground antennas, designed to vastly improve connectivity across the satellite ecosystem

LONDON, 27th September, 2021 (Isotropic Systems PR) – Isotropic Systems, a leading developer of transformational broadband terminal technologies, announces that it has raised over $37 million in an equity financing round, which fully funds the development of its game-changing multi-link antennas through to product launch in 2022.

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Hughes and SES Demonstrate First Multi-Orbit SATCOM for Remotely Piloted Aircraft

Hughes Resource Management System Seamlessly Switches Signal across SES’s Geostationary and Medium Earth Orbit Satellites, Supporting Secure Connectivity for ISR, Even in Contested Environments
 
GERMANTOWN, Md./Luxembourg, 22 September 2021 (Hughes/SES PR) – Hughes Network Systems, LLC (HUGHES) and SES today announced the successful first demonstration of a new multi-orbit satellite communications (SATCOM) capability for remotely piloted aircraft. Conducted for General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI), the demonstration paired Hughes HM series software-defined modems and Resource Management System (RMS) with SES’s satellites that operate in geosynchronous (GEO) and medium earth (MEO) orbits. SES’s unique multi-orbit fleet, which delivers global coverage, high throughput and security, was leveraged to show how unmanned aerial vehicles, such as the GA-ASI MQ-9 series, can maintain crucial connectivity and resiliency, even in contested environments.

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SES-led Consortium to Define Luxembourg’s Quantum Communication Infrastructure for Europe

Joined by InCert, itrust consulting, LuxConnect, LuxTrust and SnT, the SES-driven consortium will develop satellite-terrestrial infrastructure and the roadmap for wider European integration, setting the path for next-generation cybersecurity 

LUXEMBOURG, 13 July 2021 (SES PR) — The Luxembourg’s Quantum Communications Infrastructure project (LuxQCI), coordinated by the Department of Media, Telecommunications and Digital Policy (SMC) of the Luxembourg Ministry of State, and supported by the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Luxembourg Space Agency (LSA) under the Luxembourg National LuxIMPULSE programme, will create a secure communications shield against cyber threats based on quantum technology. To design the LuxQCI, Luxembourg has put in place a consortium comprising InCert, itrust consulting, LuxConnect, LuxTrust and the University of Luxembourg (SnT), that is led by SES’s fully-owned affiliate SES Techcom.

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SES Expands Cloud Leadership as Amazon Web Services Direct Connect Partner

AWS Direct Connect Delivery Partner certification is an important part of leading satellite connectivity provider’s multi-cloud strategy

LUXEMBOURG, 17 June 2021 – SES today announced it has joined the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Direct Connect Delivery Partner program. Through a technical and business review process, AWS validated SES’s ability to connect its customers directly to their AWS services over its network of multi-orbit satellites. This provides SES customers flexible, secure, reliable access to their cloud-based applications and services from virtually any location around the world. This is a major advantage to both enterprises and government users who require reliable bandwidth while working in remote locations. SES is the first satellite operator to achieve AWS Direct Connect Partner status.

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Isotropic Systems and SES GS Complete Milestone Trials to Unlock Next-Gen Connectivity for U.S. Military

Successful multi-beam, over-the-air tests in the UK and US advance multi-beam antenna development

LONDON/RESTON, Va., 3 June (SES/Isotropic Systems PR) – SES Government Solutions (SES GS), a wholly-owned subsidiary of SES, and Isotropic Systems, a leading developer of transformational broadband terminal technologies, announce the successful completion of the first of two milestone next-generation antenna trials with the U.S. Military aimed at unleashing unprecedented information distribution to warfighters across the battlefield.

The U.S. Air Force and U.S. Army, through the innovative Defense Experimentation Using Commercial Space Internet (DEUCSI) program, are evaluating the ability of Isotropic Systems’ optical beamforming antenna to enable frontline armed forces to access high-speed, real-time data simultaneously over multiple commercial and military satellites.

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Asteroid Day TV Launches 1 June Kicking Off the Countdown to Asteroid Day 2021, 30 June

LUXEMBOURG, 27 May 2021 (Asteroid Foundation PR) — The Asteroid Foundation will launch Asteroid Day TV on 1 June 2021 with digital video content from Discovery Science, TED, IMAX, BBC, CNN, The Planetary Society, the European Space Agency (ESA), independent filmmakers and other educational content producers. The programming will cover themes such as asteroid discovery, planetary defense, space resources, asteroid exploration missions and more.

Asteroid Day is an official United Nations’ day of global awareness about the opportunities and challenges that asteroids present. Asteroid Day was co-founded by astrophysicist and famed musician Dr Brian May of the rock group Queen; Apollo 9 Astronaut Rusty Schweickart; Filmmaker Grig Richters; and B612 Foundation President Danica Remy to educate the public about the importance of asteroids in our history, the role they play in the solar system and how they could affect our future.

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SES Successfully Prices EUR 625 Million Hybrid Bond Offering

LUXEMBOURG (SES PR) – SES S.A. announced the successful launch and pricing of a hybrid bond offering in which it has agreed to sell Deeply Subordinated Fixed Rate Resettable Securities for a total amount of EUR 625 million, with a first reset date on 27 August 2026. The notes will bear a Coupon of 2.875% per annum and were priced at 99.409% of their nominal value.  

The instrument’s credit ratings are expected to be Ba1/BB with Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s respectively.  The hybrid bonds issued by SES are non-dilutive instruments that are expected to receive 50% equity credit by both rating agencies and be classified as equity under IFRS.  Proceeds of the issuance will be used for general corporate purposes which includes the possible refinancing of existing hybrid capital instruments.  

Concurrently, SES has also announced a capped tender offer for its outstanding hybrid EUR 750 million 4.625% Perp NC2022 at a fixed purchase yield at -0.10%. With this transaction SES has taken advantage of the current attractive market conditions to proactively refinance its hybrid tranche callable in January 2022 well in advance of the first call date.

J.P. Morgan and MUFG Securities acted as Global Coordinators & Structuring Agents, together with BNP Paribas, Goldman Sachs International, HSBC, Mizuho Securities as Joint Bookrunners and Intesa Sanpaolo as Co-Lead.  The settlement is scheduled for 27 May 2021 and application has been made for the notes to be listed on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange.  The securities were placed with a broad range of institutional investors across Europe.

Sandeep Jalan, Chief Financial Officer of SES, commented, “We are pleased to have secured this new hybrid offering which allows us to proactively refinance the nearest hybrid call at significantly more favourable terms.”

ESA Advances its Plan for Satellites Around the Moon

PARIS (ESA PR) — A bold proposal to create a commercially viable constellation of lunar satellites has taken a step closer.

Two consortia of companies will be supported by ESA to devise detailed definitions of how to provide telecommunications and navigation services for missions to the Moon, under the agency’s Moonlight initiative.

Such a lasting lunar link will enable sustainable space exploration.

ESA is going to the Moon together with its international partners including NASA.

Dozens of international, institutional and commercial teams are sending missions to the Moon that envisage a permanent lunar presence. These will become regular trips to Earth’s natural satellite rather than one-off expeditions

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Fun with Figures: The Rise and Fall of the Commercial Proton Booster

Proton on launch pad (Credit: ILS)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Russia recently marked the 25th anniversary of the entry of the Proton rocket into the international commercial marketplace. On April 8, 1996, a Proton-K booster with a DM3 upper stage launched the Astra 1F geosynchronous communications satellite built by U.S.-based Hughes for Luxembourg’s SES from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

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