Arianespace Prepares for Astra 5B and Amazonas 4A Dual Launch

Astra 5B satellite SES

Astra 5B satellite. Photo: SES

[Via Satellite 03-20-2014] Arianepsace is preparing for the launch of SES’ Astra 5B satellite and Hispasat’s Amazonas 4A satellite aboard an Ariane 5 launcher on March 21. The launch was previously delayed twice in order to allow Hispasat to conduct additional checks to its payload.

Astra 5B, the first of six telecommunications satellites SES plans to launch in 2014, will be deployed at 31.5 degrees east and will provide extended transponder capacity in Ku- and Ka-band with geographical reach over Eastern European and neighboring markets for DTH direct-to-cable and feeding to digital terrestrial TV networks. It will also carry a hosted L-band payload for the European Commission’s European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS).

Astra 5B is the eighth Airbus-built Eurostar E3000 satellite in the SES fleet to be placed in orbit. The next Eurostar E3000 satellite for SES, the Astra 2G, is currently in its final integration phase and tests at the Airbus facilities.

The Amazonas 4A will be placed at 61 degrees west and will provide voice, wireless backhaul, Internet, and media applications services to South America. The spacecraft, built by Orbital Sciences based on its GEOStar 2 bus, is equipped with 24 Ku-band active transponders. Hispasat will use it to reinforce the satellite capacity during the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil and the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games in 2016.

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