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Security & Defence Press releases

Pléiades 1B satellite on the road to launch

• The very-high-resolution Earth observation satellite Pléiades 1B has left Astrium’s plant in Toulouse en route for French Guiana, where it is scheduled for launch late November
• Pléiades 1B will join its twin, Pléiades 1A, to form the first constellation of very-high-resolution satellites on the same orbit able to offer a daily revisit of the same point
• Astrium is prime contractor for both Pléiades 1A and 1B

24 October 2012 - Pléiades 1B, the second dual-use, very-high-resolution satellite in the Pléiades family built by Astrium for the French space agency CNES (prime contractor for the system and system architect), has left the Astrium Satellites facilities in Toulouse en route for its launch site in French Guiana.

Pléiades 1B will be lifting off at the end of November 2012 on board a Soyuz launch vehicle from the Sinnamary site at the Guiana Space Centre (CSG).

Pléiades 1B will be joining its twin, the Pléiades 1A satellite, which has given full satisfaction since its launch last December, at an altitude of 695 km in the same quasi-polar heliosynchronous orbit. Like its twin, Pléiades 1B will provide 50-centimeter products over a 20-kilometer footprint to the French and Spanish defence ministries, civil institutions, and to private users through Astrium Services, the exclusive distributor of Pléiades products for the civil market.

The Pléiades satellites offer major operational advantages to users thanks to their incomparable image acquisition capabilities (up to 900 images/day, daily revisit of a point anywhere in the world) combined with remarkable agility (rapid pointing), which makes it possible to image points out to 1500 km either side of nadir in multiple acquisition modes (stereo, mosaic, corridor, target).

Find more on Pléiades here:

About Astrium

Astrium is the number one company in Europe for space technologies and the third in the world. In 2011, Astrium had a turnover close to €5 billion and 18,000 employees worldwide, mainly in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain and the Netherlands.

Astrium is the sole European company that covers the whole range of civil and defence space systems and services.

Its three business units are: Astrium Space Transportation for launchers and orbital infrastructure; Astrium Satellites for spacecraft and ground segment;  Astrium Services for comprehensive fixed and mobile end-to-end solutions covering secure and commercial satcoms and networks, high security and broadcast satellite communications equipment and systems, and bespoke geo-information services, worldwide.

Astrium is a wholly owned subsidiary of EADS, a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2011, the Group – comprising Airbus, Astrium, Cassidian and Eurocopter – generated revenues of € 49.1 billion and employed a workforce of over 133,000.

Press contacts:

Jeremy Close (Astrium UK)                                                       Tel.: +44 (0)1 438 77 3872

Gregory Gavroy (Astrium FR)                                                    Tel.: +33 (0) 1 77 75 80 32

Mathias Pikelj (Astrium GER)                                                   Tel.: +49 (0) 7545 8 9123

Francisco Lechón (Astrium SP)                                                 Tel.: +34 91 586 37 41

Earth Observation