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TV satellite Astra 3B now operational

All in-orbit tests successfully concluded

Less than four weeks after its launch, Airbus Defence and Space has successfully concluded all in-orbit tests of the hardware and broadcasting functionalities on board Astra 3B. Designed and built by Airbus Defence and Space, the satellite has entered service at its orbital position and is ready for commercial operations. The satellite was launched by Ariane 5 from Kourou on 21 May 2010 – Ariane 5’s 50th launch.

Astra 3B is a Ku- and Ka-band spacecraft designed for the transmission of both direct-to-home (DTH) broadcast services and two-way broadband services across Europe from 23.5° E, SES Astra’s third orbital hot spot.

Airbus Defence and Space was prime contractor for Astra 3B, responsible for the design and manufacture of the satellite, and the supply of both the payload and the Eurostar E3000 platform. Astra 3B has 52 active transponders in Ku-band and four in Ka-band, with very high channel selectivity. The payload power is 10kW and the launch mass was 5,450kg. The satellite has a 15-year service life.

Astra 3B is the third Airbus Defence and Space-built satellite to enter operation for SES Astra and one of a series of seven Eurostar E3000 satellites which Astra will be operating by 2014, together with Astra 1M launched in November 2008, Astra 1N ordered in 2008 and currently in integration, and four more ordered at the end of 2009.