ASTRA 2B UP AND RUNNING
The Astra 2B satellite has entered active service for operator Société Européenne des Satellites (SES) at the Luxembourg-based company’s orbital slot at 28.2 degrees East.
SES said Astra 2B features up to 30 Ku-band transponders (11.70-12.75 GHz), powered by 109 watt travelling wave tube amplifiers.
It is a Eurostar-type satellite and was built by Astrium (formerly Matra Marconi Space) and has a design life of 15 years.
Co-positioned with Astra 2A at 28.2 degrees East, Astra 2B enables SES to activate 40 transponders in the BSS frequency range between 11.70 and 12.50 GHz.
SES also said Astra 2B has a steerable antenna with the facility to activate up to 16 transponders in the 12.50-12.75 GHz frequency range outside of Europe, across any area of the earth visible from 28.2 degrees East.
SES has two Astra launches scheduled for 28.2 degrees East: Astra 2D is to be launched in December 2000, and Astra 2C is due to follow suit in June 2001.
“SES has decided to maintain the temporarily re-located Astra 1D spacecraft at 28.2 degrees East until after the successful OSD [Operational Service Date] of the upcoming Astra 2D satellite,” said SES in a statement.