Astra 2E/Eutelsat 28E at 28° East
|Manufacturer:||Airbus Defense & Space|
|Launch vehicle:||Proton M/Breeze|
|Expected lifetime:||15+ Years|
In December 2009 EADS Astrium (Airbus Defense & Space) was contracted by satellite operator SES from Luxembourg to built four new multi-mission satellites based on their Eurostar-3000 platform, to provide replacement as well as incremental capacity for its SES ASTRA and SES WORLD SKIES divisions.
The new satellites, Astra 2E, Astra 2F, Astra 2G and Astra 5B, would allow the release of the existing satellites at two orbital positions (28.2° and 31.5° East) and add new capacity as well as fleet deployment flexibility for the SES group. The satellites were designed for a lifespan of 15 years and were launched in several steps between 2012 and 2014:
- Astra 2E (Eutelsat 28E) was launched on September 29th, 2013 on a Proton rocket operated by launch operator ILS.
- Astra 2F (Eutelsat 28F) was launched on September 28th, 2012 on an Ariane 5 rocket operated by launch operator Arianspace.
- Astra 2G (Eutelsat 28G) was launched on December 27th, 2014 on an Ariane 5 rocket operated by launch operator Arianspace.
The Ku-band capacity will allow SES ASTRA to enhance and secure its existing offering to major Direct-to-Home (DTH) markets in the UK and Ireland. With a Ku-band payload specifically designed to meet the requirements of some of Europe’s largest DTH broadcasters, the satellites will have spot beam and pan-European beam switching capabilities to accommodate both pay-TV and free-to-air broadcasters, and to provide these customers with increased functionality. The Ka-band payload will allow SES ASTRA to develop next generation broadband services in Europe, including its ASTRA 2Connect product. Astra 2G features also a military Ka/X-band payload to preserve Luxembourg governments orbital slot rights, which expired in January 2015.
Eutelsat is leasing capacity on three satellites from satellite operator SES from Luxembourg that are located at the orbital position 28° East. The designated SES satellites, Astra 2E, Astra 2F and Astra 2G are branded Eutelsat 28E, Eutelsat 28F and Eutelsat 28G respectively, offering prime satellite coverage for Direct-to-Home services for the UK and Ireland.
The 28° East orbital location is the leading TV orbital position for the UK & Ireland serving 17.9 million homes receiving 800 TV channels, of which 150 in HD and in over 15 languages at this multi-lingual neighborhood.