Satellites

SES launches Astra 2F Satellite

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MUMBAI: Leading satellite operator SES has said its new Astra 2F satellite has been successfully launched on 28 September, on board an Ariane 5 rocket from Kourou, French Guiana. This is SES' 36th successful launch on Ariane.

Astra 2F was built by Astrium in Toulouse using a Eurostar E3000 platform and carries Ku- and Ka-band payloads for the delivery of high-performance Direct-to-Home (DTH) and next generation broadband services. It is the first of a three satellite investment programme (Astra 2E, 2F and 2G), that provides replacement and growth capacity for the UK and Ireland at the 28.2/28.5 degrees East neighbourhood.

The new satellites in this neighbourhood will, as of October 2013, also use additional frequency spectrum for which the right of use was granted to SES by Media Broadcast pursuant to an agreement entered into in 2005. The new Astra 2F spacecraft also provides Ku-band capacity for pan-European services and for Sub-Saharan Africa. Its Ka-band payload will allow SES Broadband Services to support download speeds of up to 20 Mps.

"The successful launch of Astra 2F is part of our fleet replacement and expansion programme," said SES CEO Romain Bausch. "Astra 2F will provide seamless replacement capacity for our UK customers like BSkyB, the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5, and will allow us to operate additional capacity at 28.2/28.5 degrees East on SES satellites. This orbital neighbourhood today serves close to 13 million DTH homes in the UK and Ireland. We would like to thank our long-standing partners Astrium and Arianespace for this mission success."

Astra 2F had a launch mass of 6 tons, generates 13 kW of power, and has a design life of 15 years. It is the fifth Eurostar satellite in the SES fleet. The new spacecraft will be brought into commercial service in the next few weeks following the completion of the extensive in-orbit testing programme.

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