Astra 2A

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Astra 2A
SATCAT № 25462
Mission duration 15 years
Spacecraft properties
Bus HS-601HP
Manufacturer Hughes
Launch mass 3,635 kilograms (8,014 lb)
Start of mission
Launch date August 30, 1998 (1998-08-30Z) UTC
Rocket Proton-K/DM3
Launch site Baikonur 81/23
Contractor ILS
Orbital parameters
Reference system Geocentric
Regime Geostationary
Longitude 27°E (1998, testing)
28.2°E (1999-)
Slot Astra 28.2°E (1999-)
Perigee 35,787 kilometres (22,237 mi)[1]
Apogee 35,798 kilometres (22,244 mi)[1]
Inclination 0.06 degrees[1]
Period 1436.09 minutes[1]
Epoch 25 January 2015, 05:01:56 UTC[1]
Band 32 Ku band
to be reduced to 28 as craft aged.
Bandwidth 28x33 megahertz
TWTA power 28x98W
EIRP 51 decibel-watts

Astra 2A is one of the Astra communications satellites owned by SES. Launched in 1998 into the 28.2E orbital position, half its expected end-of-life capacity of 28 transponders were pre-booked by BSkyB, who utilised it to launch their new Sky Digital service. In March 2015, the satellite has been deactivated to be relocated to the Astra 23.5°E position.


The satellite suffered pre-launch technical issues with its apogee motors and was moved to a launch by the Proton rocket rather than the Ariane 5, as the Proton can inject directly in GEO.[2]

When positioned at 28E, it joined DFS Kopernikus 1, which served mainly Eastern Europe. The satellite was the first of Astra's craft to never carry analogue television services (with the exception of a solitary test card in 1999[3]), and as of 2006, carried standard definition digital television, digital radio, and high-definition digital television, as well as Sky Interactive streams and the AVC Broadband and Silvermead satellite internet services. Two beams "2A North" and "2A South" transmit on horizontal and vertical polarisation. The South beam covers almost all of Europe, with the North beam covering only Northern Europe at a high power.

In March 2015, two year's beyond Astra 2A's projected lifespan, and following the launches of Astra 2E in 2013, Astra 2F in 2012, and Astra 2G in 2014 to 28.2°E, all remaining traffic was transferred from Astra 2A to the newer satellites.[4] As of March 25, 2015 Astra 2A remains at the 28.2°E but it is inactive and is expected to be moved to Astra 23.5°E, to operate as a backup satellite to Astra 3B.[5]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 "ASTRA 2A Satellite details 1998-050A NORAD 25462". N2YO. 25 January 2015. Retrieved 25 January 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. The Satellite Encyclopaedia
  3. LyngSat (archived)
  4. Astra 2A frequencies moved to Astra 2E and 2F The Sat And PC Guy March 5, 2015. Accessed March 25, 2015
  5. Where markets grow via satellite: Our global satellite fleet SES January 2012

External links