The Mission and Spacecraft Library


In 1985, the Société Europíenne des Satellites (SES) was created to provide medium power TV coverage to Europe. This privately held company established the Astra communications satellite network under a franchise from the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. This network, now consisting of 4 satellites, began providing Europe's first private broadcasting service on February 5, 1989, and was reaching more than 21 million homes by early 1991 via cable, SMATV and 1.85 million DTH private dishes. The first 2 satellites in the series, Astra 1A and Astra 1B, are the primary elements of the system, with Astra 1C and Astra 1D acting as on-orbit spares.

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Launch Facts
 Name  Int'l Desig.  Date  Site  Vehicle  Orbit  Mass(kg)
 Astra 1A  1988-109B  12/11/88  Kourou  Ariane 44LP  GEO  1780
    European TV broadcast; 19.2 deg W
 Astra 1B  1991-015A  3/2/91  Kourou  Ariane 44LP  GEO  2620
    19.2 deg E; European coverage
 Astra 1C  1993-031A  5/12/93  Kourou  Ariane 42L  GEO  2790
    1.2 deg E
 Astra 1D  1994-070A  11/1/94  Kourou  Ariane 42P  GEO  2924
    European DBS and radio; 19.2 deg E
 Astra 1E  1995-055A  10/19/95  Kourou  Ariane 42L  GEO  2700
    Western Europe digital TV; 18 Ku-band transponders; 19.2 deg E
 Astra 1F  1996-021A  4/4/96  Tyuratam  SL-13  GEO  3010
    19.2 deg E

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