Advanced Television

SES decommissions Astra 2B

June 15, 2021

By Chris Forrester

SES has moved Astra 2B to a graveyard orbit and well above the standard geo-stationary orbits used by the satellite industry.

Launched in September 2000 and was co-located with Astra 2A at 28.2 degrees East, the craft has also served at the core SES hotspot at 19.2 degrees East and 31.5 degrees East over the past few years.

While at 28.2° East, television 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° East, 17 transponders on Astra 2B were used by BSkyB to provide the Sky Digital television services of standard and HD television and digital radio.

Astra 2A was moved to 19.2 degrees East in February 2013. Later it was moved to 31.5 degrees East in January 2014.

In total the craft was well utilised and served SES for some 20 years 8 months, despit having a design life of an expected 15 years. Astra 2A was built by Airbus (as Astrium).

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