Successful Eutelsat Sealaunch to 3 degrees East
May 27, 2014 02.47 Europe/London By Donald Koeleman
EUTELSAT 3B has been succesfully launched on Monday 26 May at 21.10 GMT/UTC. The six-tonne satellite was carried on board of a Zenit-3SL rocket operated by Sea Launch AG, from its Odyssey Launch Platform near the Equator in the Pacific Ocean.
After a 1-hour flight, the Zenit-3SL booster released EUTELSAT 3B into geosynchronous transfer orbit. Partial deployment of the satellite’s solar array was carried out successfully within two hours of spacecraft separation.
Eutelsat’s new satellite is scheduled to enter service in July at 3° East. EUTELSAT 3B will replace the EUTELSAT 3D satellite that will subsequently be copositioned with EUTELSAT 7A at 7° East to provide expansion capacity and enhanced in-orbit security for data, telecom and video markets in Europe, Turkey and Africa.
The Airbus Defence and Space built EUTELSAT 3B, using the E3000 platform, has been designed to increase and diversify Eutelsat’s resources and footprint at its 3° East orbital position.
Eutelsat claims this is the first commercial satellite to assemble Ku, C and Ka payloads in a single platform. It will operate up to 51 transponders. Its innovative tri-band configuration will enable customers to select from three frequency bands connected to footprints covering Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia and Brazil.
Commenting after launch and first manoeuvres, Eutelsat Chairman and CEO, Michel de Rosen said: “We are delighted to see EUTELSAT 3B on its way to 3 degrees East and thank Sea Launch and Energia for this flawless launch. EUTELSAT 3B will be a strong platform for growth at our 3° East orbital position. Its exceptional range of payloads will enable us to tailor our response to customers operating broadband, data, telecom and video services in a vast footprint spanning from Brazil to Central Asia.”
EUTELSAT 3B being loaded into the container to make its way to Long Beach, California