Eutelsat 3B satellite on track for April launch

Pascale Paoli-Lebailly | 19-02-2014

The Eutelsat 3B satellite has arrived in Long Beach, California, from Toulouse, France, and has been transported to the Sea Launch 'Home Port' facility to be prepared for launch on 15 April.

"Once standalone spacecraft operations are completed, Eutelsat 3B will be handed over to Sea Launch's prime contractor, Energia Logistics, to be mated with the payload support structure and integrated with the Zenit-3SL launch vehicle," Eutelsat explained.

The satellite will be launched from an ocean-based launch platform located directly on the equator.

Built for Eutelsat by Airbus Defence and Space using the Eurostar 3000 platform, Eutelsat 3B is designed to increase and diversify Eutelsat's resources and footprint at its 3 East orbital position.

The first satellite to assemble Ku, C and Ka payloads in a single platform, it will operate up to 51 transponders.

Its tri-band configuration will enable customers to select from three frequency bands adapted to data, telecom, broadband and professional video services covering Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia and South America.

Eutelsat 3B will replace the Eutelsat 3D satellite that will be redeployed to another orbital location to continue full commercial service.