Astrium-built Astra 5B satellite shipped to launch site

Pascale Paoli-Lebailly | 06-11-2013

The Astra 5B satellite, designed and manufactured by Astrium for satellite operator SES, has left Toulouse, France, to be shipped to its launch site.

The telecommunications satellite is en route to Kourou, French Guiana, in preparation for its launch by an Ariane 5 vehicle in December.

Astra 5B will have a launch mass of six tonnes, a wingspan of 40m once its solar arrays are deployed in orbit, and a spacecraft power of 13kw until the end of its 15-year design lifetime.

Based on Astrium's Eurostar E3000 platform, it will be deployed at the orbital location of 31.5° East.

The satellite will provide extended transponder capacity in Ku and Ka bands with geographical reach over Eastern European and neighbouring markets for DTH, direct-to-cable and digital terrestrial television networks.

It will also carry a hosted L-band payload for the European Commission's European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS).

Astra 5B will be the eighth Eurostar satellite in the SES fleet, following the recent 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.