Astra 3A

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Astra 3A
COSPAR ID2002-015B
SATCAT no.27400
Mission duration10 years
Spacecraft properties
ManufacturerBoeing Satellite Systems
Launch mass1,495 kilograms (3,296 lb)
Power1,550 watts
Start of mission
Launch date29 March 2002 (2002-03-29)
RocketAriane 44L V139
Launch siteKourou ELA-2
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric
Longitudemoving east
Perigee altitude35,788 kilometres (22,238 mi)[1]
Apogee altitude35,796 kilometres (22,243 mi)[1]
Inclination2.9 degrees[1]
Period1436.07 minutes[1]
Epoch22 January 2015, 17:07:00 UTC[1]
Band20 Ku band
Bandwidth36 MHz
TWTA power30 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 1 February 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 176.9°W where it remained, in inclined orbit, to provide backup to SES' NSS-9 satellite.[7] In June 2016, Astra 3A was moving east at approximately 1.5°/day[8] and was subsequently positioned at 86.5°W.[9] In November 2016 it started moving east at approx 0.5°/day until positioned at 47°W in mid-February 2017 alongside SES' NSS-806 satellite (due to be replaced by SES-14 in H2 2017).[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "ASTRA 3A Satellite details 2002-015B NORAD 27400". N2YO. 22 January 2015. Retrieved 25 January 2015.
  2. ^ "Astra 3A". SES. Archived from the original on January 18, 2012. Retrieved January 26, 2012.
  3. ^ "Astra 3A at 23.5°E". LyngSat. Archived from the original on 28 August 2008. Retrieved August 28, 2008.
  4. ^ "Kabel Deutschland schaltet Satellitenzuführung endgültig ab" (in German). Digital fernsehen. 2 February 2012.
  5. ^ "Astra 3A Key Data". SES. Archived from the original on November 28, 2012. Retrieved October 14, 2012.
  6. ^ "Astra 3A". Retrieved October 14, 2012.
  7. ^ Real Time Satellite Tracking And Predictions Accessed March 31, 2014
  8. ^ Real Time Satellite Tracking And Predictions Accessed July 4, 2016
  9. ^ Real Time Satellite Tracking And Predictions Accessed November 1, 2016
  10. ^ Real Time Satellite Tracking And Predictions Accessed February 28, 2017

External links[edit]