Astra 5B


Astra 5B
Mission typeCommunications
COSPAR ID2014-011B
SATCAT no.39617Edit this on Wikidata
Mission duration15 years
Spacecraft properties
ManufacturerAirbus Defence and Space
(formerly Astrium)
Launch mass6,000 kilograms (13,000 lb)
Start of mission
Launch dateMarch 22, 2014
RocketAriane 5 ECA V216
Launch siteKourou
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric
Longitude31.5° East
SlotAstra 31.5°E

Astra 5B is one of the Astra communications satellites owned and operated by SES. It was launched as SES' 56th satellite in March 2014, to the newest of the Astra orbital positions for direct to home (DTH) satellite TV, at 31.5°E[1] for DTH, DTT and cable use in Eastern Europe,.[2]

The satellite will replace the Astra 1G satellite currently at 31.5°E, which is itself filling in at that position after the loss of the Astra 5A satellite (originally called Sirius 2) in 2009[3] Astra 2C was first used at 31.5°E to replace Astra 5A,[4] with Astra 1G positioned there in 2010.[5]

Astra 5B is the third satellite to be launched of four ordered together by SES from Astrium (now Airbus Defence and Space) in 2009.[6] The similar Astra 2E and Astra 2F were launched to Astra 28.2°E before Astra 5B in 2013 and 2012, respectively, and the fourth, Astra 2G was launched later, in 2014.[7]


The Astra 5B satellite provided two Ku-band broadcast beams, each of horizontal and vertical polarisation, across two footprints, called the High Power beam and the Wide beam.

  • The High Power beam provides reception on a 50 cm dish in Eastern Europe, the Balkans, Greece, Turkey and the Caucasus to the Black Sea.
  • The Wide beam enables reception on a 60 cm dish over the same area and in addition, the Baltic and much of Eastern Russia.

Within these reception areas, Astra 5B will provide capacity for DTH broadcasting, direct-to-cable, and contribution feeds to digital terrestrial television networks.[2]

The satellite will also carry a hosted L-band payload for the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS).


Astra 5B was ordered by SES in 2009 and built by Airbus Defence and Space (formerly Astrium) on the Eurostar E3000 platform.[6] The launch was originally scheduled for launch in the second quarter of 2013[8] but that launch was cancelled because the other satellite (Optus 10) which was due to accompany Astra 5B on the Ariane 5 launch was pulled from the manifest pending a possible sale of Optus.[9]

The launch was then planned for December 6, 2013 with Hispasat's Amazonas 4A satellite as the co-passenger[10] but it was announced in November that the launch had been postponed until January 2014 by delays to the availability of the Amazonas craft.[11] Finally, Ariane 5 VA216 was launched on March 22, 2014.[12]

Astra 5B began commercial operation on June 2, 2014[13] and by the end of June 2014 had 18 active transponders carrying channels for eastern Europe.[14]

See also


  1. ^ "SES: ASTRA 5B SATELLITE LAUNCH SUCCESS ON ARIANE 5" (Press release). SES ASTRA. March 23, 2014. Retrieved March 27, 2014.
  2. ^ a b "Astra 5B Factsheet" (PDF). SES. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-11-01. Retrieved November 1, 2013.
  3. ^ "SES ASTRA Announces End Of ASTRA 5A Spacecraft Mission" (Press release). SES ASTRA. January 16, 2009. Retrieved October 31, 2013.
  4. ^ "SES To Move ASTRA 2C Satellite To 31.5 Degrees East To Support Development Of New Orbital Position" (Press release). SES Astra. March 10, 2009. Retrieved October 31, 2013.
  5. ^ "ASTRA 3B SATELLITE SUCCESSFULLY LAUNCHED" (Press release). SES Astra. May 22, 2010. Retrieved October 31, 2013.
  6. ^ a b SES Selects Astrium To Build Four Direct Broadcast Satellites Space News. November 27, 2009. Accessed October 2, 2019
  7. ^ "ASTRA 2G SATELLITE ROARS INTO ORBIT" (Press release). SES. November 28, 2014. Retrieved January 1, 2015.
  8. ^ Satlaunch.Net 2013 Launch Schedule Retrieved December 24, 2011
  9. ^ SES’s Astra 5B Launch Delayed Again as Ariane 5 Co-passenger Hispasat Calls Timeout To Tweak Satellite Space News November 13, 2013 Accessed November 28, 2013
  10. ^ "Arianespace launches VA216 and VS06 scheduled respectively for December 6 and 20" (Press release). Arianespace. October 29, 2013. Archived from the original on November 2, 2013. Retrieved November 28, 2013.
  11. ^ "SES: ASTRA 5B LAUNCH DELAY DUE TO UNAVAILABILITY OF CO-PASSENGER SATELLITE" (Press release). SES ASTRA. November 13, 2013. Retrieved November 29, 2013.
  12. ^ "Launch program activity". ArianeSpace. Archived from the original on February 9, 2014. Retrieved March 24, 2014.
  13. ^ "SES: ASTRA 5B SATELLITE GOES LIVE AT 31.5 DEGREES EAST" (Press release). SES. June 2, 2014. Retrieved June 27, 2014.
  14. ^ Astra 5B at 31.5°E Accessed June 29, 2014

External links

  • Official Astra consumers/viewers' website
  • Official trade/industry site
  • SES guide to channels broadcasting on Astra satellites
  • SES fleet information and map
  • Astra 31.5°E orbital position Website