Astra 2B


Astra 2B is one of the Astra communications satellites owned and operated by SES. Launched in September 2000 to join Astra 2A at the Astra 28.2°E orbital position providing digital television and radio broadcast services to the United Kingdom and Ireland, the satellite has also served at the Astra 19.2°E and the Astra 31.5°E positions.

Astra 2B
Mission typeCommunications
COSPAR ID2000-054A Edit this at Wikidata
SATCAT no.26494
Mission durationPlanned: 15 years
Final: <20 years and 9 months
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft typeEurostar
BusEurostar E2000+
(now Airbus Defence and Space)
Launch mass3,315 kg (7,308 lb)
Power7.8 kW
Start of mission
Launch date14 September 2000,
22:44:47 UTC
RocketAriane 5G (V130)
Launch siteCentre Spatial Guyanais, ELA-3
Entered serviceNovember 2000
End of mission
DisposalGraveyard orbit
DeactivatedJune 2021
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric orbit[1]
RegimeGeostationary orbit
Longitudemoving west
SlotAstra 19.2°E (2018-2021)
20° West (2017-2018)
Astra 19.2°E (2016-2017)
Astra 31.5°E (2014-2016)
Astra 19.2°E (2013-2014)
Astra 28.2°E (2000-2013)
Band30 Ku-band
Bandwidth33 MHz
Coverage areaEurope, Middle East, Africa



The satellite provides two broadcast beams, each with horizontal and vertical polarisation, across two footprints - 2B North (covering Central Europe and Scandinavia) and 2B South (covering Central Europe and the Iberian Peninsula and Canary Islands).[2]

While at 28.2° East, television signals could be received with a 43 cm dish across the majority of the British Isles with a 60 cm dish required in the extreme north and west, although the official footprint maps now show a 60 cm dish as required across all of Western Europe.[3] At 28.2° East, 17 transponders on Astra 2B were used by BSkyB to provide the Sky Digital television services of standard and high-definition television (HDTV) and digital radio.[4] Astra 2B could also provide backup capacity, substituting for one or more transponders across the whole 10.70-12.75 GHz range used by Astra satellites in the Astra 19.2°E and Astra 28.2°E orbital positions. A third, steerable beam provides 8 transponders in the 12.50-12.75 GHz range for Internet and telecommunications services in West Africa. This aspect of the satellite was originally the commercial responsibility of SES New Skies (now incorporated into SES).

Following the launch of Astra 2F to 28.2° East, in February 2013, Astra 2B started its planned move from that position to Astra 19.2°E, to serve alongside Astra 1KR, Astra 1L, Astra 1M, and Astra 2C,[5] arriving in position by 27 February 2013.[6] In January 2014, Astra 2B moved to the Astra 31.5°E orbital position, pending the delayed launch of Astra 5B to that position and stayed there as back-up [7] until it was moved back to 19.2° East in December 2016.[8] In June 2017, it was moved west at approximately 0.6°/day to arrive alongside NSS-7 at 20° West in August 2017.[9] From April 2018 to July 2018, Astra 2B was moved east at 0.6°/day to Astra 19.2°E.[10] Since June 2021, Astra 2B has been non-operational and moving west at approximately 4.9°/day.[11]

See also



  1. ^ "ASTRA 2B". Retrieved 8 April 2021.
  2. ^ "Astra 2B Footprints". SES. Archived from the original on 27 October 2011. Retrieved 8 April 2021.
  3. ^ "ASTRA 2B". SES. Archived from the original on 12 March 2013. Retrieved 8 April 2021.
  4. ^ "Astra 2B at 28.2°E". LyngSat. Archived from the original on 11 August 2008. Retrieved 12 August 2008.
  5. ^ Our global satellite fleet SES booklet November 2012 Archived 2012-08-16 at the Wayback Machine fleet plan for 2015. Accessed February 15, 2013
  6. ^ Astra 2B in SatTracker Accessed February 27, 2013
  7. ^ Real Time Satellite Tracking And Predictions - Astra 2B Accessed February 20, 2014
  8. ^ Real Time Satellite Tracking And Predictions Accessed December 29, 2016
  9. ^ Real Time Satellite Tracking And Predictions Accessed August 28, 2017
  10. ^ Real Time Satellite Tracking And Predictions Accessed July 27, 2018
  11. ^ Real Time Satellite Tracking And Predictions Accessed June 26, 2021
  • SES fleet information and map
  • Official SES site