Kourou, 10 February 2010 - The Astra 3B communications satellite for SES ASTRA arrived today in French Guiana, transported by an Antonov aircraft from Airbus Defence and Space’s Toulouse site, and will be prepared at the Kourou space centre for an Ariane 5 heavy-lift launch along with another Airbus Defence and Space satellite – ComsatBw2 for the German armed forces – at the end of March.
ASTRA 3B will be 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 the company 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 last year.
ASTRA 3B is a state-of-the-art Ku and Ka-band spacecraft designed for the distribution of both direct-to-home (DTH) broadcast services and two-way broadband services across Europe and the Middle East. It will be positioned at 23.5 degrees East, an increasingly important orbital position for SES ASTRA. The satellite can operate up to 60 transponders in Ku-band and 4 in Ka-band. It carries six mission antennas, four of which are side mounted and will be deployed in orbit. The payload power is 10 kW and the spacecraft launch mass 5,470 kilograms. ASTRA 3B has been designed for a nominal lifetime of 15-years.
Airbus Defence and Space, a wholly owned subsidiary of AIRBUS Group, is dedicated to providing civil and defence space systems and services. In 2008, Airbus Defence and Space had a turnover of €4.3 billion and more than 15,000 employees in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain and the Netherlands. Its three main areas of activity are Airbus Defence and Space for launchers and orbital infrastructure, Airbus Defence and Space for spacecraft and ground segment and Airbus Defence and Space for the development and delivery of satellite services.
AIRBUS Group is a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2008, AIRBUS Group generated revenues of €43.3 billion and employed a workforce of more than 118, 000.
Daniel Mosely (Airbus Defence and Space UK) Tel.: +44 (0)1 438 77 8180
Matthieu Duvelleroy (Airbus Defence and Space FR) Tel.: +33 (0) 1 77 75 80 32
Ralph Heinrich (Airbus Defence and Space GER) Tel.: +49 (0) 89 607 33971
Francisco Lechón (Airbus Defence and Space SP) Tel.: +34 91 586 37 41