SES Astra’s UK and Ireland orbital slot at 28.2 deg East is to get a new satellite, Astra 2E, launched in Q2/2013 by Arianespace. Astra 2E will be built by Astrium using a Eurostar E3000 platform, and will be fitted with active Ku-band and Ka-band transponders. Its designed life time is 15 years. The satellite will be placed into orbit by an Ariane 5 launcher from the Guiana Space Center, Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana.
Astra 2E is part of a larger fleet replacement and expansion programme that also includes the procurement and launch of three new craft: Astra 2F, Astra 2G and Astra 5B satellites. The new satellites are due to launch in several steps between 2012 and 2014, and will allow the release of the existing satellites at two orbital positions (28.2 and 31.5 degrees East) and add new capacity as well as fleet deployment flexibility for SES over the coming years.