27 December 2014
Airbus Defence and Space
| 6,002 kilograms (13,232 lb)|
Baikonur Cosmodrome Site 200
Astra 2F, Astra 2E, Astra 1N, EUTELSAT 9B, Eutelsat 33C
Astra 2G is one of the Astra communications satellites owned and operated by SES, launched to the Astra 28.2°E orbital slot in December 2014, at 03:37:49 Baikonur time.
Astra 2G is positioned at 28.5°E (part of the Astra 28.2°E orbital slot) and is the last of three 'second generation' satellites launched to this slot to replace the first generation Astra 2A, Astra 2B, Astra 2C and Astra 2D craft originally positioned there between 1998 and 2001, and it joined Astra 2E and Astra 2F launched in 2013 and 2012, respectively.
Astra 2G Wikipedia
Astra 2G carries both Ku-band and Ka-band payloads and will deliver broadcast, VSAT and broadband services to Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and will also provide the ability to connect West Africa to Europe via Ka-band. 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 a major part of Astra 2G’s mission is to continue, extend and backup this provision. Along with Astra 2E and 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 2G also supports SATMED, a satellite-based e-health platform developed by SES and supported by the Luxembourg Government and the Ministry for Cooperation and Humanitarian Action which enables communication between doctors, enabling the transfer and exchange of medical knowledge and supporting tools for medical e-learning and e-teaching to improve public health in emerging and developing countries, particularly in isolated areas.
Astra 2G has three Ku-band downlink beams and one Ka-band beam:The Europe beam is centred on the Benelux countries with reception from a 60 cm dish available across most of Europe - west to the Portuguese eastern border, east to Belarus, north to Estonia and south to coast of North Africa.
The UK Spot beam provides maximum signal (for reception with 45 cm dishes) over the whole UK, Ireland, Benelux and northern France 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 strongest signals of the West Africa beam (receivable on 50 cm dishes) covers Côte d'Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria and northern Cameroon, with additional "lobes" for parts oif Gabon and Congo. Reception on larger dishes is available across the entire sub-Saharan west Africa region.
The Ka-band footprint is centred on France with coverage over all of western Europe.
The launch of Astra 2G was intended to be from the Baikonur Cosmodrome by ILS Proton-M rocket a month earlier, on November 28, 2014 but technical problems with the launch vehicle caused it to be rolled back from the launch pad to undergo a component replacement. The satellite had arrived at Baikonur on October 29 after a delayed flight from Europe - an emergency landing of the transport aircraft in the city of Ulyanovsk due to engine trouble required replacement of the aircraft’s engine and a two-day delay.
Finally launched successfully on December 27, 2014, at 03:37:49 Baikonur time, the craft was initially positioned at 21.0°E for three months and then tested at 43.5°E before moving to the Astra 28.2°E slot in June 2015.
On June 18, 2015 the first six channels, including ITV and CH4, began broadcasting from Astra 2G, transferred from Astra 2E, Astra 2F and, in particular from Eutelsat 28A, which was some two years beyond its expected end-of-life and operating with some transponders considerably under power. The final Eutelsat 28A channels, including the Freesat EPG data channel, transferred to Astra 2G on June 29, 2015.
Below is a list of the TV channels broadcast from active transponders on Astra 2G as of July 2015:
In the list, 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].