Astra 28.2°E

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Astra 28.2°E is the name for the group of Astra communications satellites co-located at the 28.2° East position in the Clarke Belt that are owned and operated by SES based in Betzdorf, Luxembourg. It is one of the major TV satellite positions serving Europe (the others being at 19.2° East, 13° East, 23.5° East, and 5° East).

The Astra satellites at 28.2° East provide for services downlinking in the 10.70 GHz-12.70 GHz range of the Ku band.

Satellite craft in use[edit]


Non-Astra satellites (28.5°E)[edit]




The satellites at the Astra 28.2°E position primarily provide digital TV, digital radio and multimedia services to the UK and Republic of Ireland, broadcasting more than 470 TV, radio and interactive channels to homes in the UK and Ireland.[8] The majority of these channels broadcast as part of British Sky Broadcasting’s Sky Digital pay-TV platform or the free-to-air Freesat platform, and they include free-to-air and encrypted high definition television (HDTV) channels.

At this position, Astra 2F also provides capacity on a spot beam deployed on West Africa, and Astra 2E provides a beam across the Middle East.[9]


Services from the Astra satellites at 28.2° east are received in 15.6 million households (12.1 million by direct-to-home satellite, 2.9 million via cable, and 0.7 million via IPTV). 60% of all UK TV homes receive TV via Astra satellites.[10]


This position was the second orbital position used by SES (after Astra 19.2°E) and the first to provide only digital channels. The first craft to occupy this position was Astra 1D, relocated from Astra 19.2°E in March 1998 to provide capacity for testing UK digital TV transmissions before the start of Sky Digital (originally slated for June 1998 but then delayed until October 1998).[11]

Following the successful launch of Astra 2A to the Astra 28.2°E position on August 30, 1998, Astra 1D was returned to 19.2°E in October 1998.

Sirius 3, from Nordic Satellite AB (later, SES Sirius then incorporated in SES) was leased to SES immediately after its launch on October 5, 1998 for a period of 12 months (after which it was moved to its original destination of 5°E) to provide further capacity at 28.2°E for the expanding Sky Digital service and to back up Astra 2A, pending the launch of Astra 2B on September 14, 2000.[11]

Although Astra 2C was built for the Astra 28.2°E position, it was first deployed after launch in 2001 at 19.2°E where it provided pan-European capacity pending the launch of Astra 1L. Astra 2C was moved to the Astra 28.2°E position in August 2007. In March 2009, SES announced that in April, Astra 2C was to be moved to Astra 31.5°E to temporarily take over the mission of Astra 5A which had failed in orbit, and to remain at Astra 31.5°E for about one year until Astra 3B was launched to Astra 23.5°E, when another craft at that position could be released to Astra 31.5°E and Astra 2C returned to 28.2° east.[12] The move of Astra 2C to Astra 31.5°E was completed on May 11.[13] Astra 3B was brought into operation at Astra 23.5°E in June 2011, however, in September 2010, Astra 2C was moved back to Astra 19.2°E.

Late in 2009 SES announced that three more satellites have been ordered for this position. The three craft, Astra 2E, Astra 2F and Astra 2G, are being built by Astrium on the Eurostar E3000 platform for Ku and Ka band use in Europe and Africa, and will be launched between 2012 and 2014.[14]

In August 2011 Astra 1N was launched to the 28.2°E position to provide interim capacity for the UK and Republic of Ireland with a UK spot beam receivable on 45 cm dishes. Astra 1N was originally designed to provide digital television and radio broadcast services across Europe from the Astra 19.2°E position and is expected to be moved to that orbital position when Astra 2E, Astra 2F and Astra 2G come into service.[15] All traffic on Astra 2D was transferred to Astra 1N in early 2012. As of July 2013, Astra 2D remains co-located at 28.2°E but with no transponder activity.[16]

On September 28, 2012 Astra 2F was successfully launched from Kourou in French Guiana.[17] The satellite underwent tests at 43.5°E[18] and began commercial operations at 28.2°E on November 21, 2012.[3] As of June 2013 five transponders are active on Astra 2F's UK beam and two on the West Africa beam.[19] This released Astra 2B for its planned relocation to the Astra 19.2°E position in February 2013.[20]

Astra 2E was launched to the Astra 28.2°E position from Baikonur in Kazakhstan on September 30, 2013[21] following a 10-week delay caused by the catastrophic failure of a previous launch.[22] When Astra 2E became operational in February 2014, all channels currently broadcasting from Astra 1N were moved to Astra 2E[23] and Astra 1N relocated to its design location of 19.2°E.[24])[25]

Astra 2G was launched on December 27, 2014.[26] The craft has been positioned at 21.0°E for three months before being moved to 28.5°E to be co-located with Astra 2E and Astra 2F.[27]

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 (Astra 1G initially going to 21.0°E), all remaining traffic was transferred from Astra 2A to the newer satellites.[28] 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.[29]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Astra 2E převzala multiplexy za Astru 2A,, retrieved March 10, 2015 
  2. ^ The Astra 2D Satellite,, retrieved November 23, 2012 
  3. ^ a b "SES’ ASTRA 2F SATELLITE STARTS OPERATIONS" (Press release). SES. November 21, 2012. Retrieved November 21, 2012. 
  4. ^ Real Time Satellite Tracking And Predictions Accessed February 28, 2014
  6. ^ Real Time Satellite Tracking And Predictions - Sirius 3 Accessed January 31, 2014
  7. ^ Satellite To Be Moved, Renamed Afghansat 1 under Eutelsat-Afghan Pact, Space News, January 28, 2014, retrieved February 28, 2014 
  8. ^ SES “28.2° East” (August 2007). Company factsheet
  9. ^ Satellite Fleet, SES, retrieved February 28, 2014 
  10. ^ SES satellite monitor: United Kingdom Reach 2012 SES brochure. March 2012
  11. ^ a b "Astra 2A ready for commercial operations at 28.2° east. Astra 1D to be relocated to 19.2° East" (Press release). SES. 15 January 1998. 
  12. ^ "SES To Move ASTRA 2C Satellite To 31.5 Degrees East To Support Development Of New Orbital Position" (Press release). SES. 10 March 2009. Retrieved 18 June 2010. 
  13. ^ "Astra 2C arrived at 31.5 East". Lyngemark Satellite. 11 May 2009. Archived from the original on 19 May 2009. Retrieved 21 September 2012. 
  14. ^ "SES Orders Four New Satellites From ASTRIUM" (Press release). SES. 30 November 2009. Retrieved 18 June 2010. 
  15. ^ "ASTRA 1N ROARS INTO SPACE ON BOARD ARIANE 5" (Press release). SES. August 7, 2011. 
  16. ^ Astra 2D in SES fleet information Accessed July 26, 2013
  17. ^ "SES SUCCESSFULLY LAUNCHES ASTRA 2F SATELLITE" (Press release). SES. October 1, 2012. Retrieved October 1, 2012. 
  18. ^ Astra 2F Testing Reception Reports,, retrieved November 23, 2012 
  19. ^ Astra 2F in Accessed June 3, 2013
  20. ^ Our global satellite fleet SES booklet November 2012 fleet plan for 2015. Accessed February 15, 2013
  21. ^ "ASTRA 2E successfully launched" (Press release). SES. September 30, 2013. Retrieved September 30, 2013. 
  22. ^ Russia Halts Proton Rocket Launches After Explosive Crash July 2, 2013. Accessed September 30, 2013
  23. ^ Changes to BBC satellite transponders in 2013 December 12, 2012 BBC Distribution blog. Accessed July 16, 2013
  24. ^ Real Time Satellite Tracking And Predictions Accessed February 28, 2014
  25. ^ "SES’s ASTRA 2E SATELLITE GOES LIVE at 28.2/28.5 DEGREES EAST OVER EMEA" (Press release). SES. January 30, 2014. Retrieved February 27, 2014. 
  26. ^ Successful Proton Mission Caps busy Year of Russian Space Launches Spaceflight 101. December 27, 2014. Accessed January 1, 2015
  27. ^ Single Satellite View for ASTRA 2G accessed March 3, 2015
  28. ^ Astra 2A frequencies moved to Astra 2E and 2F The Sat And PC Guy March 5, 2015. Accessed March 25, 2015
  29. ^ Where markets grow via satellite: Our global satellite fleet SES January 2012

External links[edit]

Coordinates: Sky map 28h 12m 0s, +0° 0′ 0″