SES (NYSE Euronext Paris and Luxembourg Stock Exchange: SESG) announces that the ASTRA 5B satellite has safely arrived at the European spaceport in Kourou, French Guyana. The spacecraft is now being processed for launch on board an Ariane 5 rocket scheduled for lift-off December 6, 2013.
ASTRA 5B was built by EADS Astrium in Toulouse, France, based on the highly reliable Eurostar E3000 platform. The satellite will be located at the orbital position of 31.5 degrees East and is equipped with 40 Ku-band transponders (36 MHz equivalent) as well as 6 Ka-band transponders. ASTRA 5B will extend SES' transponder capacity and geographical reach over Eastern European and neighbouring markets for DTH, direct-to-cable and contribution feeds to digital terrestrial television networks. The spacecraft also carries a hosted L-band payload for the European Commission's European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS).
ASTRA 5B will have a launch mass of 6 tonnes, a wingspan of 40m once its solar arrays are deployed in orbit, and a spacecraft power of 13kW at the end of its 15-year design lifetime.
ASTRA 5B will be the eighth Eurostar satellite in the SES fleet, following the recent successful launches of ASTRA 2F in September 2012, SES-6 in June 2013, and ASTRA 2E in September 2013. One more Eurostar E3000 for SES (ASTRA 2G) is currently in final integration and tests in Astrium facilities.