Photo courtesy of International Launch Services (ILS)
Paris, Baikonur, 30 January 2016 – The EUTELSAT 9B satellite of Eutelsat Communications (NYSE Euronext Paris: ETL) was successfully launched into geosynchronous transfer orbit today by ILS using a Proton rocket that lift off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome at 04.20 (22.20 GMT, 23.20 CET on January 29).
Separation of Eutelsat's new satellite occurred after a 9 hour 12 minute Proton flight. Partial deployment of the satellite's solar panels, that represents the first critical post-launch operation, took place two hours later. Following further manoeuvres and in-orbit tests, EUTELSAT 9B will be positioned at 9 degrees East in March to assume broadcasting of over 350 TV channels currently served at this position by EUTELSAT 9A and provide expansion capacity for new services.
EUTELSAT 9B also marks an industry first as the host satellite for the inaugural data relay payload for the European Data Relay System (EDRS) being implemented through a Public Private Partnership (PPP) between ESA and Airbus Defence and Space.
Commenting on the launch, Michel de Rosen, Eutelsat Chairman and CEO, said: "Our congratulations to ILS and Krunichev for a flawless launch that sees a new Eutelsat satellite propelled on its way to geostationary orbit. This sophisticated satellite programme reflects outstanding collaboration between Eutelsat, ESA, Airbus Defence and Space, ILS and Krunichev. We look forward to putting EUTELSAT 9B to work for the benefit of our broadcaster clients and to the inauguration of the ground-breaking European Data Relay System that is a powerful illustration of the complementarity of geostationary and low earth satellites for fast transmission of data flows back to earth."
About EUTELSAT 9B
EUTELSAT 9B is a high-capacity Ku-band satellite for the 9° East position that sits at the crossroads of Europe’s leading video neighbourhoods. Overall Eutelsat capacity will increase to 50 physical transponders (47 equivalent 36Mz transponders), taking this neighbourhood to a new level of performance. The satellite will address high-growth broadcast markets through one pan-European footprint delivering wide coverage and four regional footprints serving Germany, Greece, Italy, and the Nordics with the Baltics and Ukraine. It will replace EUTELSAT 9A that will continue in full commercial service at an alternative orbital position.
EDRS-A is the first node of the European Data Relay System (EDRS) for ESA and Airbus Defence and Space. This new SpaceDataHighway will significantly speed up the flow of information between low-orbit satellites and their ground stations, improving reaction time for a wide range of operations such as disaster monitoring and emergency operations. The EDRS-A payload hosted on EUTELSAT 9B comprises a laser communications terminal and a Ka-band inter-satellite link that will retrieve high volumes of data sent from low orbit satellites, airborne platforms and the International Space Station. The data can then be immediately transmitted from geostationary orbit back to EDRS ground stations.
About Eutelsat Communications
Established in 1977, Eutelsat Communications (Euronext Paris: ETL, ISIN code: FR0010221234) is one of the world's leading and most experienced operators of communications satellites. The company provides capacity on 40 satellites to clients that include broadcasters and broadcasting associations, pay-TV operators, video, data and Internet service providers, enterprises and government agencies.
Eutelsat’s satellites provide ubiquitous coverage of Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia-Pacific and the Americas, enabling video, data, broadband and government communications to be established irrespective of a user’s location.
Headquartered in Paris, with offices and teleports around the globe, Eutelsat represents a workforce of 1,000 men and women from 37 countries who are experts in their fields and work with clients to deliver the highest quality of service.
For more about Eutelsat please visit www.eutelsat.com