Eutelsat’s Hotbird 13F ships to Cape Canaveral
September 14, 2022
By Chris Forrester
Airbus is shipping the first of a pair of Eutelsat ‘super-satellites’ to the Cape ready for launch preparations.
Airbus is building two ‘super satellites’ for Eutelsat. Eutelsat Hotbird 13F is about to ship, while its sister craft, Eutelsat 13G is finishing up with Airbus and will be launched later this year. Eutelsat-13F and 13G will, between them handle more than 1,000 TV channels.
Eutelsat Hotbird 13F is also the very first Airbus Eurostar ‘Neo’ class of satellites. It will be positioned at 13 degrees East along with its twin satellite, Hotbird 13G. The two satellites will replace three earlier Hotbirds in orbit yet be lighter and much more efficient. The Eurostar Neo pair feature increased payload capacity, more efficient power and thermal control systems than previous versions.
The 13F and 13G satellites will both have more than two tons of payload, spacecraft power of 22 kW and yet a launch mass of only 4,500 kg, thanks to electric orbit raising. They will enhance Eutelsat’s ability to serve its 135 million customers across Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.
Francois Gaullier, Head of Telecommunications & Navigation Systems at Airbus, said: “Eutelsat has been a valued partner for many Airbus satellite firsts from pioneering the previous Eurostar E3000 generation, to electric orbit raising or the first fully flexible payload – and now with our first Eurostar Neos. Neos. This new platform has been developed thanks to the support of ESA, showing the power This new platform has been developed thanks to the support of ESA, showing the power of partnerships between industry, agencies and commercial players in Europe.”
SpaceX is contracted to launch 13G.