06.54 Europe/London, August 7, 2011 By Chris Dziadul

Astra 1N was successfully launched earlier today (00.52 CET, August 7) from the French Guiana Space Centre on board an Ariane 5 ECA rocket.

The satellite, which will distribute digital and HDTV services in Europe, will initially provide interim replacement capacity at 28.2 degrees East.

However, it will subsequently be moved to 19.2 degrees East, where it will mainly serve the German, French and Spanish markets.

Astra 1N was built by Astrium on the Eurostar E3000 platform and is equipped with 52 Ku-band transponders.

It is the fourth Eurostar satellite in the SES fleet and will be brought into commercial service within the next few weeks following extensive in-orbit testing.

The launch was delayed by 24 hours due to local weather conditions.