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Eutelsat Retires Eutelsat 5 West A Satellite

By Rachel Jewett | January 19, 2023
Eutelsat's headquarters in Paris. Photo: Eutelsat

Eutelsat’s headquarters in Paris. Photo: Eutelsat

Eutelsat Communications has decommissioned the Eutelsat 5 West A satellite after more than 20 years in operation. The operator re-orbited the satellite to more than 400 km above Geostationary Orbit (GEO), successfully depressurizing the propulsion system and turning off electrical equipment onboard. 

The satellite operated until it was decommissioned, continuing to provide maritime connectivity even while services were transferred to the new Eutelsat 5 West B satellite. International Launch Services (ILS) launched the replacement satellite in 2019

Eutelsat 5 West A was a disruptive satellite for the operator, enabling France’s transition to digital television in the 2000s. The satellite was originally built on behalf of Stellat and was based on the a Spacebus 3000B3 platform manufactured by Alcatel Alenia Space, now Thales Alenia Space. It was launched in July 2002

“The impressive extended lifespan of Eutelsat 5 West A showcases the first-rate satellite control expertise of the Eutelsat teams. The satellite provided an overall service availability of 99.999%, a figure that stands as a testament to the hard work and dedication of all the Eutelsat teams who have worked together throughout the years on this mission,” said Eutelsat CEO Eva Berneke.