|Mission duration||15 years|
(now Airbus Defence and Space)
|Launch mass||3,315 kilograms (7,308 lb)|
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||September 14, 2000UTC|
|Rocket||Ariane 5G V130|
|Launch site||Kourou ELA-3|
|Slot||Astra 19.2°E (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)
|Perigee altitude||35,772 kilometres (22,228 mi)|
|Apogee altitude||35,810 kilometres (22,250 mi)|
|Epoch||October 2, 2019, 09:35:03 UTC|
|Band||30 Ku band|
(to be reduced to 28 by end of life)
|TWTA power||109 watts|
Astra 2B is one of the Astra communications satellites owned and operated by SES. Launched in 2000 to join Astra 2A at the Astra 28.2°E orbital slot providing digital television and radio broadcast services to the UK and Republic of Ireland, the satellite has also served at the Astra 19.2°E and the Astra 31.5°E positions.
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).
While at 28.2°E, TV 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. At 28.2°E 17 transponders on Astra 2B were used by BSkyB to provide the Sky Digital TV services of standard and high definition TV and digital radio. 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°E, 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, arriving in position by February 27, 2013. In January 2014, Astra 2B moved to the Astra 31.5°E slot, pending the delayed launch of Astra 5B to that position and stayed there as back-up until it was moved back to 19.2°E in December 2016. In June 2017, it was moved west at approximately 0.6°/day to arrive alongside NSS-7 at 20°W in August 2017. From April 2018 to July 2018, Astra 2B was moved east at 0.6°/day to Astra 19.2°E.