Astra 2A

Summary

Astra 2A
Mission typeCommunications
OperatorSociété Européenne des Satellites / SES S.A.
COSPAR ID1998-050A
SATCAT no.25462
Websitehttps://www.ses.com/
Mission duration15 years (planned)
22 years, 8 months, 7 days (elapsed)
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft typeBoeing 601
BusHS-601HP
ManufacturerHughes Space and Communications
Launch mass3,635 kg (8,014 lb)
Power6 kW
Start of mission
Launch date30 August 1998, 00:31:00 UTC
RocketProton-K / DM-03
Launch siteBaikonur, Site 81/23
ContractorKhrunichev State Research and Production Space Center
Entered serviceOctober 1998
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric orbit [1]
RegimeGeostationary orbit
Longitude28.2° East
Transponders
Band32 Ku-band
Bandwidth33 MHz
Coverage areaEurope
 

Astra 2A is one of the Astra communications satellites owned by Société Européenne des Satellites. Launched in 1998 into the 28.2° East orbital position, half its expected end-of-life capacity of 28 transponders were pre-booked by BSkyB, who utilised it to launch their new Sky Digital service. In March 2015, the satellite has been deactivated and relocated to 113.5° East.

History

The satellite suffered pre-launch technical issues with its apogee motors and was moved to a launch by the Proton-K / DM-03 rather than the Ariane 5, as the Proton can inject directly in geostationary orbit (GEO).[2]

When positioned at 28.2 East, it joined DFS Kopernikus-1, which served mainly Eastern Europe. The satellite was the first of Astra's craft to never carry analogue television services (with the exception of a solitary test card in 1999 [3]), and as of 2006, carried standard definition digital television, digital radio, and high-definition digital television, as well as Sky Interactive streams and the AVC Broadband and Silvermead satellite Internet services. Two beams "2A North" and "2A South" transmit on horizontal and vertical polarisation. The South beam covers almost all of Europe, with the North beam covering only Northern Europe at a high power.

In March 2015, two years beyond Astra 2A's projected lifespan, and following the launches of Astra 2E in 2013, Astra 2F in 2012, and Astra 2G in 2014 to 28.2° East, all remaining traffic was transferred from Astra 2A to the newer satellites.[4] From 25 March 2015, Astra 2A remained at 28.2° East, inactive, and was expected to be moved to Astra 23.5°E to operate as a backup satellite to Astra 3B[5] but in the summer of 2016 it was instead moved to 113.5°E.[6] In July 2018, Astra 2A started moving west at approximately 0.6°/day [7] to arrive at its new position of 100° East in August 2018.[8] In May 2020, Astra 2A started moving west at approx 0.8°/day.[9]

See also

References

  1. ^ "ASTRA 2A". N2YO.com. Retrieved 1 June 2020.
  2. ^ The Satellite Encyclopaedia
  3. ^ LyngSat (archived)
  4. ^ Astra 2A frequencies moved to Astra 2E and 2F The Sat And PC Guy 5 March 2015 Accessed 25 March 2015
  5. ^ Where markets grow via satellite: Our global satellite fleet SES January 2012
  6. ^ Real Time Satellite Tracking And Predictions Accessed 30 October 2016
  7. ^ REAL TIME SATELLITE TRACKING AND PREDICTIONS Accessed July 29, 2018
  8. ^ Real Time Satellite Tracking And Predictions Accessed August 20, 2018
  9. ^ REAL TIME SATELLITE TRACKING AND PREDICTIONS Accessed May 30, 2020

External links

  • Astra 2A Ku-band North Beam footprint(s) at SatBeams
  • Astra 2A Ku-band South Beam footprint(s) at SatBeams
  • SES guide to receiving Astra satellites
  • SES guide to channels broadcasting on Astra satellites
  • OnAstra - Official consumers/viewers' site
  • SES - Official trade/industry site