EADS Astrium bags Arianespace contract for Hot Bird 8

PARIS: Eutelsat and EADS Astrium have announced the signature of a contract for the construction the Hot Bird 8 broadcast satellite. This will be launched in early 2006 by Arianespace on board an Ariane 5 rocket.


An official release informs that with 64 transponders that can be operated simultaneously, of which 58 transponders will operate at full power for most of the satellite’s lifetime, Hot Bird 8 is the largest satellite yet ordered by Eutelsat. It will join the company’s constellation of Hot Bird broadcasting satellites at 13 degrees East. These provide television, radio and interactive services to almost 100 million cable and satellite homes in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.

The new satellite will join Hot Bird 7A in bringing in-orbit sparing to a level where 13 degrees East can maintain its reputation as one of the most secure multi-satellite video neighbourhoods. The satellite has been designed to cover all 102 Ku-band transponders/frequencies at 13 degrees East. This means that it can substitute any transponder on the other Hot Bird satellites.

As the prime contractor for the new satellite EADS Astrium will design and build the satellite and supply both the payload and the platform. The spacecraft will have a launch mass of less than five tons, a solar array span of 45 metres once deployed in orbit, and a spacecraft solar array power of almost 14 kW at end of life. It will provide commercial services for a minimum of 15 years adds the release.

Hot Bird 8 is based on the E3000 version of the Eurostar family, already ordered by five major satellite operators. 34 Eurostar spacecrafts have been ordered to date. Oof these, 23 have already been launched and have proven highly reliable in operational service.

EADS Astrium is wholly owned by EADS Space. In 2002, EADS Space had a turnover of €2.2 billion. EADS Astrium’s satellite business activities cover complete civil and military telecommunications and Earth Observation systems, science and navigation programmes and all spacecraft avionics and equipment.

Hot Bird 8's technical characteristics

Spacecraft : Eurostar E3000

Height : 4.9 m

Length : 2.4 m

Width : 2.9 m 

Solar Array Span deployed : 45 m 

Spacecraft solar array power / End of life : almost 14 kW

Geostationary orbit, 13 degrees East longitude Payload Frequency band : Ku 

Number of transponders : 64 transponders operational simultaneously with up to 58 transponders at full power for large part of lifetime. 

Antennas : Two 2.4-m diameter deployable reflectors One 1.5 m diameter fixed reflector 

Coverage : Europe, North Africa, Middle East

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