Satellite Company SES (quoted at Paris and Luxembourg Euronext Stock Exchange: SESG) located the newly launched satellite ASTRA 5B at orbit position 31.5 degrees to the east. Its signal will cover central and eastern European countries, including South Caucasus. The satellite provides for DTH (Direct-to-Home) and Direct-to-Cable service and transmits terrestrial digital broadcasting to specific markets.
Satellite ASTRA 5B was successfully launched to space by spaceship Ariane 5, from European cosmodrome (Kourou, French Guiana) 23:04 local time 22 March (23:04 CET; 18.04 EDT); Georgian time – 02:04, 23 March. After launch the spaceship completed several successful orbit maneuvers.
ASTRA 5B has been constructed by Airbus Defence and Space Systems in French Toulouse, on the high-level Eurostar E3000 platform. ASTRA 5B replaces ASTRA 1G at the orbital position of 31.5 degrees East. The spacecraft also carries the second SES hosted L-band payload for the European Commission’s European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS). EGNOS helps to verify, improve and report on the reliability and accuracy of positioning signals in Europe.
Martin Halliwell, Chief Technology Officer at SES, stated: “In line with our well-defined strategy, ASTRA 5B greatly increases SES’s satellite capacities over CEE, Russia and the CIS. With the Operational Service Date (OSD) of ASTRA 5B, SES has as of today 1,536 active satellite transponders on its global satellite fleet, comprising 55 active spacecraft at 37 orbital slots around the world. We would like to thank our European partners at Airbus Defence and Space Systems and Arianespace for the successful ASTRA 5B mission.”
Hakan Sjodin, SES Regional Sales Director for Scandinavia, Baltic and Eastern Europe: “We are glad today to mark successful launching of another - ASTRA 5B satellite and its allocation on the correct orbital location. This is a very important fact for the countries in the region and especially for Georgia, as the country is to change to digital broadcasting next summer and broadcasting will be insured by the given satellite.
Our satellite ASTRA 5B is located at 31.5 EAST, which is the position that Georgia needs for receiving highest quality digital signal. We have successful cooperation with MagtiSAT. Successful cooperation means that it has over 110 thousand customers throughout the country (despite regional complication.) Being MagtiSAT subscriber means receiving digital signal throughout the country.”