SES Astra

SES Astra

company_name = SES ASTRA
company_type = Privately-owned subsidiary
company_slogan =
foundation = 1985
key_people =
location = flagicon|Luxembourg Betzdorf, Luxembourg
industry = Telecommunications
products = Satellite Services
revenue = profit ? billion (2006)
net_income = loss ? billion (2006)
operating_income = profit ? billion (2006)
num_employees = 368 (2007)
parent = SES
subsid = SES ASTRA TechCom
homepage = [ SES ASTRA]
foot_notes =

SES Astra SA, is a corporate subsidiary of SES, based in Betzdorf, in eastern Luxembourg, that owns and operates the Astra series of geostationary communication satellites, which transmit approximately 1100 analogue and digital television and radio channels via 176 transponders to 91 million households across Europe.

Formed in 1985 as Société Européenne des Satellites (SES), it was Europe's first private satellite operator. Its slogan is currently "Your Satellite Connection to the World".

The first customer of SES Astra was Sky Television which leased four transponders on Astra 1A ahead of its launch in 1989. UK- and Ireland-aimed channels ceased at 19.2°East in September 2001 with the closure of Sky's analogue service, although their digital service has been the main occupier of Astra's secondary position at 28.2°East since its launch in 1998.

atellite details

SES Astra operates 15 satellites from five orbital locations - Astra 19.2°E, Astra 28.2°E, Astra 23.5°E, Astra 5°E, Astra 31.5°E. Astra's principle of "co-location" (several satellites in the same orbital location) increases flexibility and redundancy.Notes
#19.2°E is the most common orbital position for direct-to-home satellite TV and radio transmission in Germany, Western and Central Europe.
#BSkyB broadcast their Sky Digital direct-to-home television service to the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland from the 28.2°E satellite constellation. Eutelsat's Eurobird 1 satellite also operates close to this position.

atellite manufacturer & launch

SES Astra operates satellites designed by Boeing Satellite Systems or BSS (formerly Hughes Space and Communications), EADS Astrium, Alcatel Space, and Lockheed Martin.

Astra satellites within a family are not identical, for example of the Astra 2 satellites; 2A and 2C are BSS 601HPs, 2B is an Astrium Eurostar-2000 and 2D is a BSS 376.

The satellites are launched by Arianespace rockets from Kourou, French Guiana or International Launch Services Proton rockets from Baikonur, Kazakhstan. The satellites are launched into an elliptical "temporary transfer orbit" from where they use onboard propulsion to reach their final circular geostationary orbits, at nearly 36,000 km altitude. Proton rockets fitted with a fourth stage propulsion unit are capable of launching the satellites several thousand kilometres higher (at the closest point of the elliptical orbit) than Ariane rockets. As a result most satellites launched in this way have to use less fuel to reach their geostationary orbit, increasing their lifetime.


Astra 1K, the largest commercial communications satellite ever built at the time, was ordered by SES-Astra in 1997. It was launched by Proton rocket on November 26 2002. The rocket lifted off as planned and reached its parking orbit at which point the final stage of the rocket was to initiate a second burn to transfer the satellite to its geostationary orbit. This did not occur and the satellite was released into the parking orbit, making it unusable. The only way to recover the satellite would have been the use of a Space Shuttle, however this was rejected. On December 10 2002 SES Astra instructed Alcatel Space (the manufacturer) and the French Space Agency CNES to deorbit the satellite, it broke up on re-entry over the Pacific Ocean.

ee also

*Astra 19.2°E
*Astra 28.2°E
*Astra 5°E
*Astra 23.5°E
*Astra 31.5°E
*List of broadcast satellites
*Astra Digital Radio
*SES Sirius
*SES New Skies
*SES Americom

External links

* [ SES Astra] - Official site
* [ SES Astra interactive fleet map]
* [ Astra transponder] footprints (To determine size requirements of a satellite dish - minimum diameter from 50 to 120 cm)
* [ SES Astra guide to receiving Astra satellites]
* [ SES Astra guide to channels broadcasting on Astra satellites]
* [ Lyngsat frequency/channel list] .
* [ SatcoDX frequency/channel list]
* [ Astra analogue satellite Promo Video clips - Orbitalzone.Com]
* [ ESOA website]
* [ SES ASTRA TechCom] - Official site

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