2 March 2015
15 years (planned)
| Asia Broadcast Satellite|
4,307 pounds (1,954 kg)
Eutelsat 115 West B, TurkmenAlem52E/MonacoSAT, AsiaSat 8, AsiaSat 6, Ekspress AM7
ABS-3A is a communications satellite that is operated by Asia Broadcast Satellite, providing coverage in the Americas, the Middle East, and Africa, as well as globally for TV distribution, cellular services, and maritime services. The satellite is the first commercial communications satellite in orbit to use electric propulsion, providing a significant weight savings.
The satellite was designed and manufactured by Boeing, and is a Boeing 702SP model communication satellite. It will be located at 3 degrees West longitude. It was launched on board a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on 2 March 2015 (UTC time).
The satellite is propelled solely by electrically powered spacecraft propulsion, with the on-board thrusters used for both geostationary orbit insertion and station keeping.
The satellite is based on the Boeing 702 satellite bus, and was launched along with Eutelsat 115 West B, which is based on the same bus. The satellite had a launch mass of 4,307 pounds (1,954 kg).
The satellite utilizes three C-band beams and four Ku-band beams. The C-band beams will cover Americas, Middle East, and Africa. Additionally, the C-band can be used globally. The Ku-band beams will cover Europe, Middle East, North Africa, and South Africa, as well as providing further coverage of America.
The launch occurred on March 2, 2015 at 03:50 UTC and the satellite has been deployed in the planned supersynchronous transfer orbit.
The launch is also notable for being the first flight of Boeing's stacked satellite configuration for the Boeing 702SP, a configuration Boeing designed specifically to take advantage of the SpaceX Falcon 9 v1.1 capabilities.
The satellite became fully operational as a geosynchronous communications satellite by 10 September 2015 after a handover from Boeing to ABS for on-orbit operations on 31 August 2015, approximately one month earlier than planned.