Premature end to Astra 5A

January 17, 2009

German cable customers from the KabelDienst-Leistungsgesellschaft (KDL) grouping have been migrated to another satellite after an anomaly with Astra 5A.
The satellite, better known under its former name of Sirius 2, was delivering a package of 22 free-to-air channels to the consortium of independent cablenets from the Swedish-owned satellite. Immediately after the technical anomaly, SES Astra informed the affected customers, and transferred the services to another satellite at the same 31.5 degrees East slot, also used by Kabel Deutschland and services for the Dutch and Czech-Slovak markets.

An investigation into the failure is underway and owners the Swedish Space Corporation (SSC) and the satellite’s manufacturer, Thales Alenia Space, are now working on de-orbiting the satellite.
SES will shortly decide on how it will develop the 31.5 degrees orbital slot. Astra moved the 10-year old satellite to the position in April 2008 and was already aware of its limited lifespan.