Astra 3A

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Astra 3A
SATCAT № 27400
Mission duration 10 years
Spacecraft properties
Manufacturer Boeing Satellite Systems
Launch mass 1,495 kilograms (3,296 lb)
Power 1,550 watts
Start of mission
Launch date 29 March 2002 (2002-03-29)
Rocket Ariane 44L V139
Launch site Kourou ELA-2
Contractor Arianespace
Orbital parameters
Reference system Geocentric
Regime Geostationary
Longitude 177° west
Perigee 35,788 kilometres (22,238 mi)[1]
Apogee 35,796 kilometres (22,243 mi)[1]
Inclination 2.13 degrees[1]
Period 1436.07 minutes[1]
Epoch 22 January 2015, 17:07:00 UTC[1]
Band 20 Ku band
Bandwidth 36 MHz
TWTA power 30 W

Astra 3A is one of the Astra communications satellites owned and operated by SES, launched in 2002 to the Astra 23.5°E orbital slot to provide digital television and radio for DTH and cable, multimedia and interactive services, corporate networks, and occasional and other business services to central Europe.

The satellite provides two broadcast beams, of horizontal and vertical polarisation, across two footprints that covered essentially the same areas of Europe – principally the countries of central Europe.[2]

Astra 3A was launched to provide follow-on capacity to replace the DFS-Kopernikus 3 satellite and deliver additional capacity for the Benelux countries and central Europe, to create SES-Astra’s third major European satellite hotspot after Astra 19.2°E and Astra 28.2°E with access to channels at both positions using a single dish fitted with a monoblock Duo LNB.

In that role, TV signals could be received with a 50 cm dish across Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, the Czech Republic, most of Denmark, and in parts of France, Italy, Poland, Slovenia, and Slovakia. Reception was even possible as far afield as Scotland, Sweden and Serbia when a larger dish (around 110 cm) was used.

In addition to contribution feeds and individual TV channels, Astra 3A carried pay-TV networks including Kabel Deutschland (Germany), CanalDigitaal (Netherlands), TV Vlaanderen (Belgium), CS Link (Slovakia and Czech Republic) and Skylink (Slovakia and Czech Republic).[3] On February 1, 2012 Kabel Deutschland left Astra 3A[4] and during 2012 other services were transferred off the satellite. As of October 2012, Astra 3A was in an inclined orbit[5] at 23.7°E[6] with all services carried by the adjacent Astra 3B craft.

In November 2013, Astra 3A was moved to 177°W where it remains, in inclined orbit, to provide backup to SES' NSS-9 satellite.[7]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 "ASTRA 3A Satellite details 2002-015B NORAD 27400". N2YO. 22 January 2015. Retrieved 25 January 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Astra 3A". SES. Retrieved January 26, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Astra 3A at 23.5°E". LyngSat. Archived from the original on 28 August 2008. Retrieved August 28, 2008.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Kabel Deutschland schaltet Satellitenzuführung endgültig ab" (in Deutsch). Digital fernsehen. 2 February 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Astra 3A Key Data". SES. Retrieved October 14, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Astra 3A". Retrieved October 14, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Real Time Satellite Tracking And Predictions Accessed March 31, 2014

External links