Astra 2E

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Astra 2E
Mission type Communications
Operator SES
COSPAR ID 2013-056A
SATCAT № 39285
Mission duration 15 years
Spacecraft properties
Bus Eurostar-3000
Manufacturer Astrium
Launch mass 6,020 kilograms (13,270 lb)
Start of mission
Launch date 29 September 2013, 21:38 (2013-09-29UTC21:38Z) UTC
Rocket Proton-M/Briz-M
Launch site Baikonur 200/39
Contractor ILS
Orbital parameters
Reference system Geocentric
Regime Geostationary
Longitude 28.2° East
Slot Astra 28.2°E
Semi-major axis 42,163.53 kilometres (26,199.20 mi)[1]
Eccentricity 0.0002181[1]
Perigee 35,783 kilometres (22,235 mi)[1]
Apogee 35,801 kilometres (22,246 mi)[1]
Inclination 0.07 degrees[1]
Period 1436.08 minutes[1]
Epoch 6 September 2014, 05:53:19 UTC[1]

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[2] after a 10-week delay caused by rocket launcher problems. The satellite provides free-to-air and encrypted direct-to-home (DTH) digital TV and satellite broadband services for Europe and the Middle East.

After launch, Astra 2E underwent in-orbit testing at 43.5°E[3] and began commercial operations at 28.2°E in February 2014.[4] At that time, channels broadcast via Astra 1N (temporarily located at 28.2°E pending Astra 1E's launch) were transferred to Astra 2E and Astra 1N relocated to its design position at 19.2°E.[5]

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, Astra 2C and Astra 2D craft originally positioned there between 1998 and 2001. A third craft in the series - Astra 2G - will be launched to 28.2°E in 2014.[6]

Unlike 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.[7]

ASTRA 2E will also deliver broadcast and VSAT services in Europe, Middle East and Africa in Ku-band.[8] and Ka-band capacity will provide internet via satellite with download speeds of up to 20 Mbit/s to Germany.[9]

Broadcasting footprint[edit]

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.[10]
  • 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.[8]

The craft is fitted with 60 Ku-band transponders.[11]

Launch delay[edit]

The launch of Astra 2E was intended to be by ILS Proton-M rocket on July 21, 2013,[12] 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[13] 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,[14] and the launch programme was recommenced in September 2013.

TV Channels on Astra 2E UK Beam[edit]

Below is a list, as of February 2014, of the TV and radio channels broadcast from Astra 2E on its UK Beam, and therefore most difficult to receive outside the British Isles:[15]

In the list, TV channels broadcast with a one-hour delay are shown Channel +1hr. Where both the original and the delayed channel are broadcast from the same transponder, this is shown in one entry as Channel [also +1hr].

Tp41 10.714 GHz H 22000 5/6:
  • Channel 4 London
  • Channel 4 South & East
  • Channel 4 Midlands
  • Channel 4 North
  • Channel 4 Northern Ireland
  • Channel 4 Scotland
  • Film 4 [also +1hr]
  • More 4 +1hr

Tp42 10.729 GHz V 22000 5/6:

  • E4 [also +1hr]
  • Channel 4 London +1hr
  • Channel 4 South & East +1hr
  • Channel 4 Midlands +1hr
  • Channel 4 North +1hr
  • Channel 4 Northern Ireland +1hr
  • Channel 4 Scotland +1hr
  • More 4

Tp43 10.744 GHz H 22000 5/6 (encrypted in Videoguard):

  • RTÉ One
  • RTÉ Two
  • RTÉ Two HD
  • TG4
  • TV3

Tp44 10.758 GHz V 22000 5/6:

  • CITV
  • ITV 2
  • ITV 4
  • ITV London
  • ITV Granada
  • ITV Anglia East
  • ITV Central West
  • ITV Meridian South East +1hr

Tp45 10.773 GHz H 22000 5/6:

  • CBeebies
  • BBC Four
  • BBC One Channels Islands
  • BBC One East West
  • BBC One London
  • BBC One West
  • BBC Two England

Tp46 10.788 GHz V 22000 5/6:

  • BBC One East Yorkshire & Lincolnshire
  • BBC One East East
  • BBC One East Midlands
  • BBC One West Midlands
  • BBC One Wales
  • BBC Two Wales
  • BBC Parliament

Tp47 10.803 GHz H 22000 5/6:

  • BBC Alba
  • BBC One Scotland
  • BBC One North East & Cumbria
  • BBC One North West
  • BBC One South East
  • BBC One Yorkshire & North Midlands
  • BBC Two Scotland
  • BBC Radio 1
  • BBC Radio 1Extra
  • BBC Radio 2
  • BBC Radio 5 Live
  • BBC Radio Sports Extra
  • BBC Asian Network
  • BBC London

Tp48 10.818 GHz V 22000 5/6:

  • BBC Three
  • CBBC Channel
  • BBC One South
  • BBC One South West
  • BBC One Oxford
  • BBC News
  • BBC One Northern Ireland
  • BBC Two Northern Ireland

Tp49 10.832 GHz H 22000 5/6:

  • ITV London HD
  • ITV 4 +1hr
  • ITV Wales
  • ITV Westcountry West
  • ITV Westcountry South West
  • ITV Anglia East +1hr

Tp50 10.847 GHz V 23000 2/3 DVB-S2:

  • BBC One England HD
  • BBC One Northern Ireland HD
  • BBC Two HD
  • BBC Three HD

Tp51 10.862 GHz H 22000 5/6 (encrypted in Videoguard):

  • Disney Channel [also +1hr]
  • Disney Junior [also +1hr]
  • Disney XD [also +1hr]

Tp52 10.876 GHz V 22000 5/6 (encrypted in Videoguard):

  • Sky News Arabia
  • Sky Sports Active Hi 1-5
  • Nickelodeon [also +1hr]
  • NickToons
  • Nick Jr
  • Baby TV

Tp53 10.891 GHz H 22000 5/6:

  • ITV Border
  • ITV Central West +1hr
  • ITV London +1hr
  • ITV Meridian South
  • ITV Meridian South East
  • ITV Westcountry South West +1hr
  • ITV Tyne Tees
  • ITV Yorkshire West
  • ITV2 +1hr

Tp54 10.906 GHz V 22000 5/6:

  • ITV 3 [also +1hr]
  • ITV Channel Television
  • ITV Granada +1hr
  • ITV Meridian South +1hr
  • STV East [also +1hr]
  • STV North
  • STV West
  • UTV

Tp55 10.921 GHz H 22000 8/9 DVB-S2 (encrypted in Videoguard):

  • Sky 2 Ireland
  • Sky Living Ireland +1hr
  • Sky Movies Box Office
  • TCM HD
  • Trace Sport Stars

Tp56 10.936 GHz V 23000 8/9 DVB-S2 (encrypted in Videoguard):

  • ITV Meridian South East HD
  • ITV Central West HD
  • STV West HD
  • Star Plus HD
  • Watch HD

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "ASTRA 2E Satellite details 2013-056A NORAD 39285". N2YO. 6 September 2014. Retrieved 6 September 2014. 
  2. ^ "ASTRA 2E successfully launched" (Press release). SES. September 30, 2013. Retrieved September 30, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Astra 2E at REAL TIME SATELLITE TRACKING AND PREDICTIONS". Retrieved 30 December 2013. 
  4. ^ "SES’s ASTRA 2E SATELLITE GOES LIVE at 28.2/28.5 DEGREES EAST OVER EMEA" (Press release). SES. January 31, 2014. Retrieved February 27, 2014. 
  5. ^ Changes to BBC satellite transponders in 2013 December 12, 2012. BBC Distribution blog. Accessed July 16, 2013
  6. ^ "SES Orders Four New Satellites From ASTRIUM" (Press release). SES. 30 November 2009. Retrieved August 28, 2012. 
  7. ^ ASTRA 2F arrives at the Guiana Space Centre, Kourou August 23, 2012. SES blog. Accessed August 26, 2012
  8. ^ a b Astra 2E factsheet on Accessed October 30, 2013
  9. ^ Ten things about ASTRA 2E July 1, 2013. SES blog. Accessed July 16, 2013
  10. ^ Bains, Geoff. "Flight of the Big Birds" What Satellite & Digital TV February 2012 pp29
  11. ^
  12. ^ "SES’ ASTRA 2E SATELLITE SHIPPED TO BAIKONUR COSMODROME FOR JULY 21 LAUNCH" (Press release). SES. June 16, 2013. Retrieved July 16, 2013. 
  13. ^ Russian Proton-M rocket crashes, erupts in ball of fire July 2, 2013. Russia Today website report. Accessed July 26, 2013
  14. ^ Incorrect installation of angular rate sensors behind July 2 Proton-M crash - commission findings July 18, 2013. Interfax. Accessed September 30, 2013
  15. ^ "Astra 2E at 28.2°E". LyngSat. Retrieved February 27, 2014. 

External links[edit]