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Founded 1976
Headquarters Riyadh,  Saudi Arabia
Industry Satellite communication

The Arab Satellite Communications Organization (often abbreviated as Arabsat or ASCO) is a leading communications satellite operator in the Arab World, headquartered in the city of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Arabsat owns and operates five satellites platforms at orbital positions 26° and 30.5° East. Arabsat was created to deliver satellite-based, public and private telecommunications services to the Arab States, in accordance with International Standards. With more than 20 member countries, the organization plays a vital role of enhancing communications in the Arab World.



The Arab Satellite Communication Organization (ARABSAT) was established on 1976 by the member states of the Arab League with a defined goal of serving in telecommunication, information, culture and education sectors. Arabsat has operated the Arabsat GEO telecommunications system since its first satellite launch in 1985.


Arabsat's satellites provide coverage to more than 100 countries in the Middle East, Africa and the major parts of Europe.

Satellites Launch



Arabsat-1 are the first generation satellites built by an international team led by Aerospatiale of France. It is a three-axis stabilized Spacebus 100 spacecraft with two deployable solar array wings, making it almost 68 ft (20.7 m) long and over 18 ft (5.5 m) wide when deployed in orbit. It weighs about 2,800 lb (1,270 kg) in its initial orbit, but some 1,490 lb (675 kg) of this is propellant. It has an onboard low-thrust motor that utilizes hydrazine and nitrogen tetroxide, and transfers from an initial elliptical to geosynchronous orbit by firing this motor. The remaining propellant is then used for station-keeping or moving over the life of the satellite.

Arabsat-1A, the first satellite of Arabsat, was launched by Ariane on 8 February 1985. Shortly after launch it suffered a solar panel extension malfunction. Coupled with other failures, the satellite was soon relegated to backup status until it was abandoned completely in late 1991.

Arabsat-1B, the second flight model, was deployed on June 1985, from the Shuttle and placed into service near 26° East, and remained in operation until the summer of 1992.

Arabsat-1C the third satellite of the series, was launched by Ariane on 26 February 1992 and operated until 1994. As a stop-gap measure to maintain network services until the Arabsat second generation spacecraft became available, the organization leased the Canadian Anik D2 spacecraft in 1993.

Arabsat-1D was renamed from a Hughes HS-376 bus originally carriing 24 active C-band transponders and moved from the Western Hemisphere during April - August 1993 to a position at 20° E.


By the end of 1994, the Arabsat system had been reduced to only one satellite. A contract for two Arabsat second generation satellites was signed with Aerospatiale in April 1993 based on a Spacebus 3000A platform.

Arabsat-2A, the first model, was launched in 1996.

Arabsat-2B followed shortly thereafter in an ongoing effort to maintain a multiple satellite network.


On November 7, 1996 a contract was signed with Aerospatiale for the manufacturing of the first of the third-generation satellites, based on a Spacebus 3000B2 platform. BADR-3 (technically: Arabsat-3A) was launched to the orbit of 26° East, the same orbit of Arabsat-2A, in 1999 as the first satellite of the third generation.


On 22 October 2003, Arabsat held a contract signing ceremony for the manufacture and launch of the fourth generation of Arabsat satellites. The first of these, Arabsat-4A, was lost in space due to a launcher failure.[1][2][3] This led to the ordering of BADR-6 (technically: Arabsat-4C) on 31 May 2006. The second fourth generation satellite, named BADR-4 (technically: Arabsat-4B), was launched on 8 November 2006. BADR-6 was launched 2008-07-07 on an Ariane 5 to replace the lost Arabsat-4A.[4]


On 16 June 2007, Arabsat held a contract-signing ceremony for the manufacture and launch of the fifth generation of Arabsat satellites:

  • The first of the fifth-generation satellites, Arabsat-5A, is to be launched at the 30.5° East orbital location by Q4-2009.
  • The second fifth-generation satellite, named BADR-5 (technically: Arabsat-5B), is to be launched at Arabsat's 26° East Direct-to-Home television "Hot Spot" in 2010.
  • The third of the fifth-generation satellites, Arabsat-5C, is to be launched at the new 20° East orbital location in 2011.


  • Direct To Home (DTH) television broadcasting
  • Broadband & Telephony backbone connectivity
  • Satellite Internet
  • VSATs


ArabSat has been criticized for broadcasting the Hezbollah controlled Al-Manar channel.[5][6]


In orbit

  • Arabsat-2B (30.5° E)
  • BADR-2 (25.8° E)
  • BADR-3 (26° E)
  • BADR-4 (26° E)
  • BADR-6 (26° E)

Up coming

  • BADR-5 (26° E)
  • Arabsat-5A (30.5° E)
  • Arabsat-5C (20° E)

See also



External links


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