Astra 2C

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Astra 2C
Mission typeCommunication
OperatorSES Astra
COSPAR ID2001-025A
SATCAT no.26853
Mission duration15 years
Spacecraft properties
BusBSS 601 HP
ManufacturerBoeing Satellite Systems
Launch mass3,643 kilograms (8,031 lb)
Power7,000 W
Start of mission
Launch date16 June 2001, 01:49:00 (2001-06-16UTC01:49Z) UTC
Launch siteBaikonur 81/23
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric
SlotAstra 23.5°E (2018-)
60.2° East (2015-2018)
Astra 28.2°E (2007-09, 2014)
Astra 19.2°E (2001-07, 2010-14)

Astra 31.5°E (2009-10)
Perigee35,781 kilometres (22,233 mi)[1]
Apogee35,807 kilometres (22,249 mi)[1]
Inclination1.1 degrees[1]
Period1,436.1 minutes[1]
EpochMay 27, 2018, 11:20:38 UTC[1]
Band32 Ku band
(to be reduced to 28 by end of life)
Bandwidth33 MHz
Coverage areaUnited Kingdom
TWTA power105 W

Astra 2C is one of the Astra communications satellites owned and operated by SES. Designed to join Astra 2A and Astra 2B at the Astra 28.2°E orbital slot providing digital television and radio broadcast services to the UK and Republic of Ireland, the satellite was first used after launch in 2001 at 19.2°E for pan-European coverage.

The satellite provides one broadcast beam with horizontal and vertical polarisation, across a single footprint covering the areas of Central and Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, the Iberian peninsula and Canary Islands.[2]

TV signals can be received with a 50 cm dish across the majority of the British Isles with a 60 cm dish required in the extreme north and west. Astra 2C can also provide backup capacity, substituting for one or more transponders across the 10.70 GHz-12.20 GHz broadcast range used by Astra satellites in the Astra 19.2°E and Astra 28.2°E orbital positions.


Although originally intended for Astra 28.2°E, the satellite has spent little of its life in that orbital position, stationed at Astra 19.2°E and Astra 31.5°E for some 11 years for pan-European coverage (see below). Positioned at 28.2°E for just 19 months from August 2007 and for 16 months from March 2014, Astra 2C was then moved to 60.5°E in August 2015[3] In April-May 2018 it was moved for the first time to the Astra 23.5°E slot.[4]

Temporary use at 19.2°E[edit]

Astra 2C was first positioned at 19.2°E after launch in 2001, to provide pan-European capacity at the primary Astra position pending the launch of Astra 1L (in May 2007) and was moved to 28.2°E in August 2007, transmitting digital TV and interactive services for Sky Digital and Freesat.[5] Only two transponders were active during this time.

The satellite was returned to 19.2°E in September 2010 while Astra 1N, which was intended for positioning at Astra 19.2°E, was used at Astra 28.2°E. As of July 2012, there are 16 transponders active, in particular six for the Spanish Canal+ pay-TV platform and five for Sky Deutschland.[6]

Astra 2C was returned to its originally intended position at Astra 28.2°E after the relocation of Astra 1N from 28.2°E to 19.2°E in March 2014.

Temporary use at 31.5°E[edit]

In March 2009, SES announced that in April, Astra 2C was to be moved from 28.2° east to Astra 31.5°E to temporarily replace the failed Astra 5A until Astra 3B was launched to Astra 23.5°E, when another craft currently there could be released to Astra 31.5°E.[7] The move of Astra 2C was started in early May 2009 and completed on 11 May,[8] with the first transponders coming into use at the new position in the subsequent two weeks.

In June 2010, Astra 3B (launched May 2010) came into operation at Astra 23.5°E and Astra 1G was moved from that position to Astra 31.5°E, where it could release take over all broadcasting activity from Astra 2C. Astra 2C left 31.5°E in September 2010.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "ASTRA 2C Satellite details 2001-025A NORAD 26853". N2YO. May 27, 2018. Retrieved May 27, 2018.
  2. ^ "Astra 2C". SES. Archived from the original on 25 January 2012. Retrieved 26 January 2012.
  3. ^ "Astra 2C at 60.5°E". LyngSat. Retrieved September 27, 2015.
  4. ^ Real Time Satellite Tracking And Predictions Accessed May 27, 2017
  5. ^ "Astra 2C at 28.2°E". LyngSat. Archived from the original on 11 August 2008. Retrieved 12 August 2008.
  6. ^ "Astra 2C at 19.2°E". LyngSat. Retrieved July 24, 2012.
  7. ^ "SES To Move ASTRA 2C Satellite To 31.5 Degrees East To Support Development Of New Orbital Position" (Press release). SES Astra. 10 March 2009. Retrieved 26 January 2012.
  8. ^ Astra 2C arrived at 31.5 East. LyngSat. Retrieved 1 June 2009

External links[edit]