Astra 5B goes into service

June 2, 2014 08.56 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul

Astra 5B has officially gone live in the 31.5 degrees East orbital position over CEE, Russia and the CIS.

The spacecraft, which was successfully launched by an Ariane 5 rocket from Kourou, French Guyana on March 24, provides DTH as well as direct-to-cable services and contribution feeds to DTT networks in its target markets.

Astra 5B was built by Airbus Defence and Space Systems in Toulouse, based on the Eurostar E3000 platform, and is quipped with 40 Ku-band transponders (36 MHz equivalent) and 6 Ka-band transponders.

It also carries the second SES hosted L-band payload for the European Commission’s European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS).

EGNOS helps to verify, improve and report on the reliability and accuracy of positioning signals in Europe.
Astra 5B replaces Astra 1G at 31.5 degrees East
Commenting on the satellite, Martin Halliwell, CTO at SES, said: “In line with our well-defined strategy, Astra 5B greatly increases SES’s satellite capacities over CEE, Russia and the CIS. With the Operational Service Date (OSD) of Astra 5B, SES has as of today 1,536 active satellite transponders on its global satellite fleet, comprising 55 active spacecraft at 37 orbital slots around the world. We would like to thank our European partners at Airbus Defence and Space Systems and Arianespace for the successful Astra 5B mission.”