The Astra 2E satellite roared into space on board an ILS Proton Breeze M booster Sunday night at 3:38am Baikonur time (23:38 CET on September 29).
After a nine-hour, 12-minute mission, the Breeze M upper stage of the Proton rocket successfully released the Astra 2E 2E satellite directly into geostationary transfer orbit.
Astra 2E will be deployed at the 28.2/28.5 degrees orbital arc. The satellite was built for SES by Astrium of France. Based on the highly reliable Eurostar E3000 platform, the spacecraft carries 60 Ku-band transponders, including 12 incremental transponders for delivery of services outside Europe, as well as 4 Ka-band transponders. It will enable the delivery of next generation broadcast and broadband services in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Astra 2E, which had a launch mass of 6 tonnes, will feature a wingspan of 40m once its solar arrays are deployed in orbit, generating 13 kW of spacecraft power at the end of its 15-year design lifetime
“We would like to thank Astrium and ILS for the successful Astra 2E mission. The 54th satellite in SES’ global fleet provides significant capacity expansion at a strategic orbital neighborhood over Europe. In combination with Astra 2F which was launched in September 2012, and the upcoming Astra 2G due for launch next year, Astra 2E is an important part of our fleet renewal programme at the 28.2/28.5 degrees orbital arc. The state-of-the-art new satellites provide more focused and higher power to our broadcast customers, while the Ka-band on board supports the delivery of next-generation satellite broadband services”, stated Romain Bausch, President and CEO of SES.
The next SES launch is scheduled for October 2013, when a SpaceX Falcon 9 booster will orbit the SES-8 spacecraft, manufactured by Orbital, from Cape Canaveral, Florida.