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Atlantic Bird 7 successfully launched

A new bird in the skies

Saturday 24 September 2011 saw the launch of the Atlantic Bird 7 communications satellite, built by Airbus Defence and Space for Eutelsat, by a Zenit-3SL rocket operated by Sea Launch from its 154°W launch platform in the Pacific Ocean.

Airbus Defence and Space is prime contractor for the Eurostar E3000-based satellite, which will operate up to 50 active transponders in Ku-band. The Launch and Early Orbit Phase is currently being conducted from the Eutelsat control centre in Rambouillet by the control team comprising Eutelsat and Airbus Defence and Space engineers, with Airbus Defence and Space in charge of flight operations and specialist support.

Once in geostationary orbit and upon completion of in-orbit tests, Atlantic Bird 7 will be positioned at 7°W, a key Eutelsat neighbourhood for digital broadcasting markets in the Middle East and North Africa. Atlantic Bird 7, with a launch mass of 4,600 kg, is designed to have a spacecraft power of 12kW at the end of its 15-year service life.

Photo © Sea Launch

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