Astra 2E shuts out Spanish

January 31, 2014 08.53 Europe/London By Robert Briel

astra2e-official-cropThe Astra 2E satellite will enter into commercial service in the orbital arc of 28.2/28.5 degrees East on February 1, 2014, its tightly focused beam causing consternation to British ex-pats in Spain.

Over the coming weeks, BSkyB, Channel4, ITV and BBC programming will be transitioned to the new satellite with its powerful footprint over the British Isles. Newspapers serving the British community in Spain are referring to the Great British Switch-off as residents worry about losing reception of the channels from the country they left behind.

The satellite was launched on board an ILS Proton launch vehicle from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on September 30, 2013.

Extensive in-orbit tests have since then confirmed the satellite to be fully operational and performing to specifications.

Astra 2E has now been deployed at its final destination in the orbital arc of 28.2/28.5 degrees East, where it is co-positioned with Astra 2A, Astra 2F and Astra 1N.

The satellite was built for SES by Astrium of France. Based on the highly reliable Eurostar E3000 platform, the spacecraft carries 60 Ku-band transponders, including 12 incremental transponders for delivery of services outside Europe, as well as 4 Ka-band transponders.

Astra 2E enables the delivery of next generation broadcast and broadband services in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Astra 2E, which had a launch mass of 6 tonnes, features a wingspan of 40m after its solar arrays have been deployed in orbit, and is designed to generate 13 kW of spacecraft power up to the end of its 15-year design lifetime.