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A Russian Proton rocket successfully launched Eutelsat’s 9B on January 29th (at 22.20 GMT, although 04.20am Kazakhstan time on Saturday morning).
The first three stages of the Proton rocket used a standard ascent profile to place the remaining Breeze M upper stage and the Eutelsat 9B satellite into a sub-orbital trajectory. The Breeze M performed planned mission maneuvers to advance the orbital unit first to a circular parking orbit, then to an intermediate orbit, followed by a transfer orbit, and finally to a geosynchronous transfer orbit. Separation of the Eutelsat 9B satellite occurred 9 hours, 12 minutes after liftoff.
Eutelsat 9B is a high-capacity 56-transponder Ku-band satellite for the operator’s 9° East position. Capacity will be spread across five footprints, with frequency reuse optimising overall bandwidth. The satellite will address high-growth digital TV markets through one pan-European footprint delivering wide coverage and four regional footprints.
Eutelsat 9B also hosts the first data relay payload for the European Data Relay System (EDRS) which will test extremely high-speed data delivery in space using laser communications. The test will confirm whether the EDRS can handle a target 1.8 gigabits/second of data transfer. The EDRA payload will target other satellites, the International Space Station and surveillance aircraft (and drones) and the eventual plan is to have a system in space capable of handle a massive 50 terabytes of data per day.