SES Astra successfully launches new Astra 3B satellite

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On 22 May 2010. SES Astra announced that its new Astra 3B satellite has been successfully launched. Astra 3B roared into space onboard an Ariane 5 rocket from Kourou, French Guiana, on May 21 at 19:01 am local time (0:01 am on May 22 Central European Summer Time). The satellite will be brought into its final orbital position within the next weeks and will be made commercially available in June after in-orbit testing.

Astra 3B will be located at 23.5 degrees East. It will deliver Direct-to-Home (DTH) broadcast services to the Benelux and Eastern Europe and serve public and private satellite communication networks across Europe and the Middle East. The satellite will allow SES Astra to extend the geographical coverage and the service to customers and offer DTH TV reception from Spain to the Black Sea. It will also help SES Astra to further optimise the spectrum use at 23.5 degrees East. Astra 3B will join Astra 3A and enable SES Astra to release its satellites Astra 1E and Astra 1G for other missions. Astra 1E and Astra 1G are currently positioned at 23.5 degrees East.

Astra 3B was built by Astrium in Toulouse, France, using a Eurostar E3000 platform. The spacecraft weighed around 5,500 kilogrammes at launch and carries 60 Ku-band and four Ka-band transponders (after the first five years 56 Ku- and four Ka-band transponders). The SES Astra satellite fleet delivers high quality broadcasting to 125 million European homes and serves 3.5 million TV households from 23.5 degrees East.