Thursday, October 28, 2010

Eutelsat Declares Newly Launched W3B Satellite a Total Loss

Eutelsat declared its new W3B satellite a total loss, after a propellant leak was detected on the satellite's propulsion subsystem.

The W3B satellite was launched on October 28 by an Ariane rocket from the European spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. Initially, the launch was declared a success. Separation of the satellite from the launch vehicle took place 28 minutes after lift-off. Operations needed to circularise the new satellite's orbit, place it into its operational configuration and carry out in-orbit testing will be controlled by Eutelsat from its satellite control centre at the Rambouillet teleport (near Paris), using a global network of earth stations.

W3B was equipped with 56 transponders, including three in Ka-band transponders, enabling it to deliver both broadcasting and telecom/data services. Target markets were satellite and cable homes in Central Europe, although high-power coverage over Indian Ocean islands, including Mauritius and Reunion Island, was also planned.

W3B was scheduled to be located at 16 degrees East to replace Eutelsat's EUROBIRD 16, W2M and SESAT 1 satellites. With the loss of W3B, the three satellites will now remain in full service at 16 degrees East until the arrival of W3C, whose launch is on track for mid-2011. Eutelsat will also immediately initiate a new satellite programme, called W3D, for a planned launch in the first quarter of 2013.
http://www.eutelsat.comThe next Eutelsat satellite on the launch-pad is KA-SAT, Europe's first High Throughput Satellite, which is scheduled for launch in December this year.

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