SES Americom

Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Company typePrivate company
Founded1975; 49 years ago (1975) (as RCA Americom)
Defunct2009; 15 years ago (2009)
SuccessorSES World Skies
HeadquartersPrinceton, New Jersey, United States
Area served
North America
ProductsSatellite services
Revenue€261.7 million (Q1-Q3 2008) [1]
€63.2 million (Q1-Q3 2008)
Number of employees
414 (2007)

SES Americom was a major commercial satellite operator of North American geosynchronous satellites based in the United States. The company started as RCA Americom in 1975 before being bought by General Electric in 1986 and then later acquired by SES in 2001. In September 2009, SES Americom and SES New Skies merged into SES World Skies.[2]


RCA American Communications (RCA Americom) was founded in 1975 as an operator of RCA Astro Electronics-built satellites. The company's first satellite; Satcom 1, was launched on 12 December 1975. Satcom 1 was one of the earliest geostationary satellites.

Satcom 1 was instrumental in helping early cable TV channels (such as Superstation TBS and CBN) to become initially successful, because these channels distributed their programming to all of the local cable TV headends using the satellite. Additionally, it was the first satellite used by broadcast TV networks in the United States, like American Broadcasting Company (ABC), NBC, and CBS, to distribute their programming to all of their local affiliate stations. Satcom 1 was so widely used because it had twice the communications capacity of the competing Westar 1 (24 transponders as opposed to Westar 1's 12), which resulted in lower transponder usage costs. 14 more (increasingly sophisticated) Satcom satellites would enter service from 1976 to 1992.

In 1986, General Electric acquired RCA and renamed the Americom unit to GE American Communications (GE Americom). From 1996 new satellites were named in the GE-# series, i.e. GE-1 in 1996, GE-2 in 1997 etc.

SES purchase

In November 2001, GE sold its GE Americom unit to SES for US$5 billion in cash and stock. As a result of the sale, GE Americom was renamed SES Americom and SES Global was formed as the parent company. SES's existing operations were moved to the newly created SES Astra subsidiary.[3][4] SES formerly bought a satellite from failed Direct broadcast satellite (DBS) company Crimson Satellite Associates and GE Americom while still under construction by GE AstroSpace (as Satcom K3).[5] Renamed Astra 1B and modified for use as a European direct broadcasting satellite and a part of the Astra DBS constellation, it was launched to add extra capacity to the satellite television services from 19.2° East, serving Germany, the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland.

After the acquisition of GE Americom by SES, all the satellites previously named with the GE-# prefix were renamed AMC-# (i.e., GE-1 renamed AMC-1, and so on).[6]

The President and CEO of the new SES Americom was Dean Olmstead.[7] He left the company in 2004 and was succeeded by Edward Horowitz. SES Americom was subsequently placed under Robert Bednarek, the President and CEO of SES New Skies.[8]

In September 2009, SES Americom and SES New Skies were re-branded SES World Skies.[9]

Satellite fleet

Before being merged into SES World Skies in 2009 (which expanded coverage to Middle East and Africa), SES Americom operated the following North American satellites in geosynchronous orbit:[10]

Satellite Position Manufacturer Model Launched Launch vehicle Comments
AMC-1 131° West Lockheed Martin A2100A 8 September 1996 Atlas IIA [citation needed]
AMC-2 101° West Lockheed Martin A2100A 30 January 1997 Ariane 44L Replaced by SES-1[11]
AMC-3 87° West Lockheed Martin A2100A 4 September 1997 Atlas IIAS [citation needed]
AMC-4 101° West Lockheed Martin A2100AX 13 November 1999 Ariane 44LP Launched in 1999 as GE-4. Replaced by SES-1[11]
AMC-5 79° West Alcatel Space Spacebus 2000 28 October 1998 Ariane 44L [citation needed]
AMC-6 72° West Lockheed Martin A2100AX 22 October 2000 Proton-K / DM-2 [citation needed]
AMC-7 137° West Lockheed Martin A2100A 14 September 2000 Ariane 5G Launched in 2000 as GE-7. Backup to AMC-10 since 2015
AMC-8 139° West Lockheed Martin A2100A 19 December 2000 Ariane 5G Launched in 2000 as GE-8
AMC-9 83° West Alcatel Alenia Space Spacebus 3000B3 7 June 2003 Proton-K / Briz-M[12] Failed in June 2017, apparently broke apart [13]
AMC-10 135° West Lockheed Martin A2100A 5 February 2004 Atlas IIAS[14]
AMC-11 131° West Lockheed Martin A2100A 19 May 2004 Atlas IIAS[15]
AMC-12 37° West Alcatel Alenia Space Spacebus 4000C3 3 February 2005 Proton-M / Briz-M[16] Renamed NSS-10 [17]
AMC-14[18] 61.5° West (planned) Lockheed Martin A2100 14 March 2008 Proton-M / Briz-M Launch failure [19]
AMC-15 105° West Lockheed Martin A2100AX 15 October 2004 Proton-M / Briz-M[20]
AMC-16 85° West Lockheed Martin A2100AX 17 December 2004 Atlas V (521) [21]
AMC-18 139° West Lockheed Martin A2100A 8 December 2006 Ariane 5 ECA Replaced AMC-2 previously at 105° West
Satcom C3 79° West GE AstroSpace GE-3000 10 September 1992 Ariane 44LP Graveyard orbit
AMC-21 125° West Thales Alenia Space / Orbital Sciences Corporation STAR-2 14 August 2008 Ariane 5 ECA[22]

See also


  1. ^ "SES Reports Continued Strong Results" (PDF). SES S.A. 27 October 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 October 2016.
  2. ^ "SES re-brands international divisions". 7 September 2009. Archived from the original on 20 July 2011. Retrieved 10 September 2009.
  3. ^ "Satellite Unit Of GE Capital Is Being Sold". The New York Times. 12 November 2001.
  4. ^ "SES Global completes acquisition of GE Americom". Telecompaper. 12 November 2001.
  5. ^ Astra 1B JPL Mission and Spacecraft Library Accessed June 27, 2017
  6. ^ "GE 7, 8 / AMC 7, 8, 10, 11, 18 (Aurora 3)". Gunter's space page. 21 July 2015.
  7. ^ "Dean Olmstead appointed President and CEO of SES AMERICOM" (Press release). SES WORLD SKIES. 12 November 2001.[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ "SES To Create New Segment Encompassing Two Of Its Satellite Operating Entities" (Press release). SES S.A. 10 July 2008.
  9. ^ "SES AMERICOM - NEW SKIES Satellite Division Re-brands As SES WORLD SKIES" (Press release). SES WORLD SKIES. 7 September 2009.
  10. ^ "Satellite Fleet". SES AMERICOM. Archived from the original on 11 April 2010.
  11. ^ a b "SES WORLD SKIES Announces Fleet Rebrand" (Press release). SES World Skies. 22 January 2010.
  12. ^ "300th Mission Flown by Proton Vehicle" (Press release). International Launch Services. 7 June 2003. Archived from the original on 8 October 2010.
  13. ^ Berger, Eric (2 July 2017). "A large satellite appears to be falling apart in geostationary orbit". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2 July 2017.
  14. ^ "ILS Successfully Orbits AMC-10 Satellite" (Press release). International Launch Services. 5 February 2004. Archived from the original on 10 October 2010.
  15. ^ "ILS Successfully Launches AMC-11 Satellite; Celebrates 5 Missions in 5 Months" (Press release). International Launch Services. 19 May 2004. Archived from the original on 9 October 2010.
  16. ^ "Double Success: ILS Launches Payloads with Atlas and Proton on Same Day" (Press release). International Launch Services. 3 February 2005. Archived from the original on 10 October 2010.
  17. ^ "NSS-10 and NSS-11 join SES NEW SKIES fleet" (Press release). SES NEW SKIES. 5 March 2007. Archived from the original on 23 July 2011. Retrieved 1 April 2021.
  18. ^ "AMC-14 Satellite Slated for March 15 Launch" (Press release). SES AMERICOM. 20 February 2008.
  19. ^ "ILS declares Proton launch anomaly" (Press release). International Launch Services. 14 March 2008. Archived from the original on 18 March 2008.
  20. ^ "ILS Proton Launches AMC-15 Satellite; 9th Mission in 9 Months" (Press release). International Launch Services. 15 October 2004. Archived from the original on 10 October 2010.
  21. ^ "ILS Launches AMC-16; Wraps Up Year With 10 Mission Successes" (Press release). International Launch Services. 17 December 2004. Archived from the original on 19 December 2010.
  22. ^ "Another successful Arianespace launch: Superbird-7 and AMC-21 in orbit" (Press release). Arianespace. 14 August 2008.

External links