Astra 5B launch delayed to January

November 13, 2013 11.42 Europe/London By Robert Briel

Arianespace has informed SES that the launch of the Astra 5B satellite will be delayed to January 2014.

The reason is the non-availability of Astra 5Bís co-passenger satellite for launch on board an Ariane 5 booster from the European spaceport in Kourou, French Guyana.

The original launch date was set on December 6, 2013. Astra 5Bís co-passenger is Hispasatís Amazonas 4A satellite.

The Astra 5B spacecraft, which arrived in Kourou on November 6, 2013 in order to be readied for launch, will now be put into safe storage until the launch preparations can resume.

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 SESí 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 Commissionís European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS).