ASTRA 5B goes live
| 03 June 2014
SES has confirmed that its ASTRA 5B satellite, launched in March 2014, has begun operational life at the orbital position of 31.5 degrees East over Central and Eastern Europe, Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States.

Built by Airbus Defence and Space Systems and launched by an Ariane 5 rocket from the European spaceport in Kourou, French Guyana, the spacecraft is designed to provide direct-to-home (DTH) as well as direct-to-cable services and contribution feeds to digital terrestrial television networks in its target markets. The satellite is equipped with 40 Ku-band transponders (36MHz equivalent) and six Ka-band transponders.

ASTRA 5B replaces ASTRA 1G at the orbital position of 31.5 degrees East, SES's new video neighbourhood for CEE, Russia and CIS. With ASTRA 5B the available capacity at that SES slot increases from 19 to 40 active transponders. "In line with our well-defined strategy, ASTRA 5B greatly increases SES's satellite capacities over CEE, Russia and the CIS," explained SES CTO Martin Halliwell. "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."