|Mission duration||15 years|
|Launch mass||6,020 kilograms (13,270 lb)|
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||29 September 2013, 21:38UTC|
|Launch site||Baikonur 200/39|
|Semi-major axis||42,156.51 kilometres (26,194.84 mi)|
|Perigee||35,780 kilometres (22,230 mi)|
|Apogee||35,791 kilometres (22,239 mi)|
|Epoch||29 November 2013, 18:29:36 UTC|
Astra 2E is one of the Astra communications satellites owned and operated by SES, launched to the Astra 28.2°E orbital slot on September 30, 2013 after a 10-week delay caused by rocket launcher problems. The satellite will provide free-to-air and encrypted direct-to-home (DTH) digital TV and satellite broadband services for Europe and the Middle East.
When Astra 2E becomes operational at 28.2°E, the Astra 1N satellite (currently co-located at 28.2°E) is expected to be moved to its design location of 19.2°E and the channels currently broadcasting from Astra 1N moved to Astra 2E.
Astra 2E is the second of three 'second generation' satellites for the 28.2°E position to replace the first generation Astra 2A, Astra 2B craft that served there since 1998 and 2000 respectively. A third craft in the series - Astra 2G - will be launched to 28.2°E in 2014.
Unlike all other SES/Astra spacecraft, the launch order of Astra 2E and Astra 2F is not reflected in their alphabetical names, with Astra 2F launched 10 months before Astra 2E.
The Astra 28.2°E position was established in 1998 to provide digital TV, digital radio and multimedia services to the UK and Republic of Ireland, and Astra 2E’s primary mission is to continue this provision as replacement and follow-on capacity to the Astra 2A, Astra 2D and Astra 1N satellites. Along with Astra 2F it will deliver programming to almost 13 million satellite homes, over 3 million cable homes, and 700,000 IPTV homes in the UK and Ireland, in particular for channels from the major UK digital satellite TV platforms, BSkyB and Freesat.
ASTRA 2E will also deliver broadcast and VSAT services in Europe, Middle East and Africa in Ku-band. and Ka-band capacity will provide internet via satellite with download speeds of up to 20 Mbit/s to Germany.
Astra 2E has three Ku-band downlink beams covering Europe and the Middle East:
- The Europe beam is centred on the English Channel with maximum signal over the UK, Ireland, France, Benelux, and parts of Germany, Austria, and Spain (including a "lobe" specifically designed to serve the Canary Islands), and reception on a larger dish extending to Italy, Poland, North Africa, and the Balkans.
- The UK Spot beam provides maximum signal (for 45 cm dishes) over the UK and Ireland with a sharp roll-off of signal level outside this region, in close approximation of the UK Beam of Astra 2D. This enables channels to be broadcast free-to-air but with reception effectively constrained to the British Isles, and has been the basis for the Freesat free-to-air UK platform.
- The Middle East beam is centred on the Arabian peninsula and extends to Turkey and into eastern Africa, to provide for reception with 50 cm dishes.
The Ka-band footprint for satellite broadband provides full service coverage centred on central Europe and extending to France, Italy, the Balkans, the UK, and southern Sweden and Norway.
The launch of Astra 2E was intended to be by ILS Proton-M rocket on July 21, 2013, but the previous launch of this rocket on July 2, 2013 carrying three Russian GLONASS navigation satellites ended with the rocket exploding shortly after lift off and the Proton launch programme was postponed. The fault with the failed rocket was found to be the incorrect installation of three angular rate sensors, the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) reported, and the launch programme was recommenced in September 2013.
- Astra satellite family
- Astra 1N satellite to be replaced
- Astra 28.2°E orbital position
- Astra 2A co-located satellite
- Astra 2F co-located satellite
- Astra 2D co-located satellite (not active)
- SES satellite operator
- Peat, Chris (29 November 2013). "ASTRA 2E - Orbit". Heavens-Above. Retrieved 30 November 2013.
- "ASTRA 2E successfully launched" (Press release). SES. September 30, 2013. Retrieved September 30, 2013.
- Changes to BBC satellite transponders in 2013 December 12, 2012. BBC Distribution blog. Accessed July 16, 2013
- "SES Orders Four New Satellites From ASTRIUM" (Press release). SES. 30 November 2009. Retrieved August 28, 2012.
- ASTRA 2F arrives at the Guiana Space Centre, Kourou August 23, 2012. SES blog. Accessed August 26, 2012
- Astra 2E factsheet on www.ses.com Accessed October 30, 2013
- Ten things about ASTRA 2E July 1, 2013. SES blog. Accessed July 16, 2013
- Bains, Geoff. "Flight of the Big Birds" What Satellite & Digital TV February 2012 pp29
- "SES’ ASTRA 2E SATELLITE SHIPPED TO BAIKONUR COSMODROME FOR JULY 21 LAUNCH" (Press release). SES. June 16, 2013. Retrieved July 16, 2013.
- Russian Proton-M rocket crashes, erupts in ball of fire July 2, 2013. Russia Today website report. Accessed July 26, 2013
- Incorrect installation of angular rate sensors behind July 2 Proton-M crash - commission findings July 18, 2013. Interfax. Accessed September 30, 2013
- SES - Official trade/industry site
- OnAstra - Official consumers/viewers' site
- SES guide to receiving Astra satellites
- SES guide to channels broadcasting on Astra satellites