Eutelsat 59A (E36WA, E12WA, Atlantic Bird 1) at 59° East (De-orbited)
|Thales Alenia Space
With twenty channels, the Atlantic Bird 1 satellite was primarily designed to provide telecommunications services between Europe and the Americas. Its American coverage comprises North and South American zones. Its European coverage encompasses Europe, North Africa and the near Middle East. Offering high flexibility, the satellite supports telecommunications networks spanning the two continents, providing a virtual common coverage and channel space.
Atlantic Bird 1 has been constructed by Alenia Space (Thales Alenia Space) and was launched in 2002 on an Ariane-5G rocket operated by launch operator Ariane Space and was stationed at the 12° West position over the Atlantic. The satellite was initially to be launched by Long March rocket, operated by launch operator CGWIC, but a US-export licence to China could not be obtained.
In March 2012 Eutelsat renamed their satellite assets under a unified brand name. Atlantic Bird 1 satellite became Eutelsat 12 West A. In 2016 it was moved to the 36° West position and renamed Eutelsat 36 West A. In 2018 it was again repositioned to 59° East and received the new name Eutelsat 59A.
In October 2018 Eutelsat 59A reached the end of its operational life and was de-orbited.