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Airbus Ships Eutelsat 36D Satellite to Florida in Beluga Aircraft

By Abbey Weltman | March 11, 2024

Eutelsat 36D loaded on BelugaST Plane Photo: Eutelsat

Airbus has shipped the Eutelsat 36D Geostationary (GEO) communications satellite from Toulouse, France to Florida, on board the Airbus BelugaST plane. Its final stop is the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where it will be launched into orbit aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 later this month. 

Eutelsat 36D is based on the Eurostar Neo satellite platform and will provide broadcasting and government services over Africa, Europe, and eastern countries. It has a planned lifetime of more than 15 years. The all-electric satellite is equipped with 70 Ku-band transponders. Its orbital position will be 36 degrees East and it will succeed Eutelsat 36B, which is expected to reach its end of life at the end of 2026.

“Eutelsat 36D is the 22nd GEO satellite we have built for them and it will provide extended capacity over Africa and Eurasia,” said Philippe Pham, head of Telecommunications & Navigation Systems at Airbus.

Eutelsat contracted Airbus to build the Eutelsat 36D satellite in March 2021, It will be the fourth Eurostar Neo in orbit.

This is the third time that a Beluga transport aircraft has delivered an Airbus GEO satellite to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Previous missions include HOTBIRD 13G in October 2022 and Inmarsat 6-F2 in January 2023.