Eutelsat's Hot Bird 8 satellite set for August launch from Baikonur

MUMBAI: The Hot Bird 8 broadcasting satellite built by EADS Astrium for Eutelsat Communications has arrived at the Baikonur Cosmodrome for launch on a Proton M Breeze M vehicle provided by ILS. The launch is scheduled in the early hours of 5 August.

Weighing in on the launchpad at 4.9 tonnes and equipped with 64 Ku-band transponders, Hot Bird 8 will be the largest satellite yet orbited by Eutelsat, states an official release.

Designed for television and radio broadcasting it will be positioned at 13 degrees East, Eutelsat's prime video neighbourhood, which delivers 950 television channels and 600 radio stations to 110 million cable and satellite homes in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.

The satellite's mission is to replace the 20 transponders on the Hot Bird 3 satellite, which will continue service at a new location. In conjunction with Hot Bird 7A, which was launched in February 2006, it will also contribute to raising in-orbit redundancy at Eutelsat's Hot Bird neighbourhood, the release adds.

Eutelsat Communications is a leading satellite operator with capacity commercialised on 23 satellites providing coverage over the entire European continent, as well as the Middle East, Africa, India and significant parts of Asia and the Americas. The Group is one of the world's three leading satellite operators in terms of revenues. Its satellites are used for broadcasting nearly 1,800 TV and 900 radio stations to more than 120 million cable and satellite homes.

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