Astra 2F satellite arrives in Kourou
August 21, 2012 09.41 Europe/London By Robert Briel

The Astra 2F satellite has arrived at the European Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, where it will now be processed for launch aboard an Ariane V rocket. The launch is scheduled for September 21.

The satellite was designed and built for SES by EADS Astrium. It is a powerful six-ton satellite with a design lifetime of 15 years, built on the Eurostar E3000 platform.

The multi-mission satellite will be located at 28.2 degrees East and carry Ku- and Ka-band payloads for the delivery of high performance DTH and next generation broadband services in Europe, Middle East and Africa.

28.2 degrees East is one of SES’ prime orbital positions serving premium broadcasters, including BSkyB, the BBC, ITV and Channel 5. In addition, 28.2 degrees East is used to broadcast numerous channels of growing DTH-platforms in sub-Saharan Africa.

Astra 2F will also feature a Ka-band payload that will further enhance SES’ Broadband service. SES Broadband today is Europe’s most popular satellite broadband system. The Ka-band payload will support an even higher quality of service and higher throughput.

Astra 2F is the first of a series of three satellites that will be positioned at the 28.2 degrees East neighbourhood in several steps between 2012 and 2014 to provide replacement capacity and enhanced capabilities at this orbital location. ASTRA 2E and ASTRA 2G are currently scheduled for launch in Q2 2013 and Q1 2014.

” Astra 2F has an important mission to ensure fleet continuity at 28.2 degrees East, well ahead of the end of life of the current Astra satellites located at this orbital position,” said Martin Halliwell, CTO of SES. “We are pleased that Astra 2F has arrived at the launch base safely and we look forward to another successful launch in late September.”