[SatNews] Thales Alenia Space has signed a contract with Empresa Argentina de Soluciones Satelitales SA, ARSAT, to supply the payload for the second Argentine geostationary telecom satellite ARSAT-2, a part of the SSGAT program (Sistema Satelital Geoestacionario Argentino de Telecomunicaciones).
INVAP, the Rio Negro Province high-tech powerhouse located in San Carlos de Bariloche, already involved in the manufacturing of observation satellites, was selected by ARSAT as prime contractor for ARSAT-2. To be fully compatible with the tight schedule of the program, the payload provided by Thales Alenia Space will be integrated, assembled and tested in INVAP facilities before being mated with their platform. ARSAT-2 follows the ARSAT-1 contract signed in September 2009: the Nahuel-1 satellite was already built by Thales Alenia Space. ARSAT-2 is slated to enter service in 2013, and will be positioned at 81 degrees West. It will provide data, telephone and television transmission services for South and North America. Weighing about 3 tons at launch, it will offer a design life of 15 years. The payload will be fitted with 4 C- and 16 Ku-band transponders and will use 3.4 kW of power.