ASTRA 3B successfully launched

We are happy to announce that ASTRA 3B was launched last Friday at 19.01 pm local time (22.01 pm GMT), onboard an Ariane 5ECA booster from the European Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. This follows the correction of the anomaly found on the launch vehicle subsystem that delayed proceedings for some weeks.

Congratulations to the launch team and to our launch provider Arianespace, who has successfully launched 33 SES satellites into orbit since 1989.

ASTRA 3B, which will be positioned at ASTRA’s orbital slot of 23.5 East, is a major addition to the SES fleet: The satellite features 60 Ku-band and 4 Ka-band transponders, which will be providing direct-to-home broadcast capacity and serve public and private satellite communication networks across Europe and the Middle East. Steerable spot beams will enable the reuse of frequencies over different territories, providing ASTRA with the flexibility to switch capacity to different markets according to our customer needs.

In the coming weeks, the spacecraft will be subject to in-orbit testing, and we look forward to ASTRA 3B entering commercial service in June 2010.

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