A flawless lift-off and a 9 hour launch process onboard a Proton-Breeze M rocket saw the successful launch of a new Eutelsat satellite to the 3 degrees East position.
The satellite is built by Thales Alenia Space and lift-off from the Baikonur launch site took place on May 14th at 16.02 GMT. Some 12 hours after launch a partial deployment of the satellite’s solar panels took place while the craft was in its transfer orbit.
The Proton rocket system is managed by International Launch Services (ILS) and ILS confirmed that Eutelsat had signed a new launch contract for use in the 2014-2016, and would be the eighth satellite contracted for launch with ILS over the past 13 years.
Eutelsat 3D will come into use during June but will only be at 3 degrees East until 2014 when the launch of Eutelsat 3B will take over duties at the location. Eutelsat 3D will then be moved to the 7 degrees East location. For the time being Eutelsat 3D will serve customers in Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia through a configuration of Ku and Ka transponders connected to three footprints. A fourth service area in the Ku-band is targeting markets in sub-Saharan Africa.