|Mission duration||15 years|
|Launch mass||3,635 kilograms (8,014 lb)|
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||August 30, 1998UTC|
|Launch site||Baikonur 81/23|
|Longitude||78.3°E (moving west)|
|Slot||27°E (1998, testing)|
Astra 28.2°E (1999-2016)
|Perigee altitude||35,846 kilometres (22,274 mi)|
|Apogee altitude||35,866 kilometres (22,286 mi)|
|Epoch||1 June 2020, 07:28:34 UTC|
|Band||32 Ku band |
to be reduced to 28 as craft aged.
Astra 2A is one of the Astra communications satellites owned by SES. Launched in 1998 into the 28.2E 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°E.
When positioned at 28E, 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), 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°E, all remaining traffic was transferred from Astra 2A to the newer satellites. From March 25, 2015, Astra 2A remained at 28.2°E, inactive, and was expected to be moved to Astra 23.5°E to operate as a backup satellite to Astra 3B but in the summer of 2016 it was instead moved to 113.5°E. In July 2018 Astra 2A started moving west at approximately 0.6°/day to arrive at its new position of 100°E in August 2018. In May 2020 Astra 2A started moving west at approx 0.8°/day.