The Eutelsat 5 West B satellite was successfully launched into super-synchronous transfer orbit by International Launch Services using a Proton Breeze M rocket that lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome at 03.17 pm (12.17 pm CET on October 9).
The separation of the satellite occurred after a 15 hour 36 minute flight and the spacecraft systems checkout was successfully completed during the following 4 hours. Following further manoeuvres and in-orbit tests, Eutelsat 5 West B will be positioned at 5 degrees West at the end of this year to replace Eutelsat 5 West A, assuring service continuity for over 300 TV channels broadcast from this position. Eutelsat 5 West A will remain operational in orbit at 5 degrees West and carry out other missions.
EutelsatT 5 West B will also host the GEO-3 payload of theEuropean Geostationary Navigation Overlay System (EGNOS) under a 15-year agreement signed in 2017 with the European GNSS Agency (GSA), and valued at €102 million.
Rodolphe Belmer, CEO of Eutelsat said: “Our congratulations to ILS and Khrunichev for a flawless launch that sees a new Eutelsat satellite propelled on its way to geostationary orbit. This satellite programme reflects outstanding collaboration between Eutelsat, GSA, Airbus Defence and Space, Northrop Grumman, International Launch Services and Khrunichev. We look forward to putting EUTELSAT 5 West B to work for the benefit of our clients throughout Europe and North Africa and to the inauguration of EGNOS’ GEO-3 payload that will improve the performance of global navigation satellite systems in Europe.”