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Astra 2A is one of the Astra communications satellites owned by SES. Launched in 1998 into the 28.2E orbital position, half its expected end-of-life capacity of 28 transponders were pre-booked by BSkyB, who utilised it to launch their new Sky Digital service. In March 2015, the satellite has been deactivated and relocated to 113.5°E.

Astra 2A
COSPAR ID1998-050A
SATCAT no.25462
Mission duration15 years
Spacecraft properties
Launch mass3,635 kilograms (8,014 lb)
Start of mission
Launch dateAugust 30, 1998 (1998-08-30Z) UTC
Launch siteBaikonur 81/23
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric
Slot27°E (1998, testing)
Astra 28.2°E (1999-2016)
113.5°E (2016-2018)
100°E (2018-)
Perigee altitude35,782 kilometres (22,234 mi)[1]
Apogee altitude35,804 kilometres (22,248 mi)[1]
Inclination0.1 degrees[1]
Period1436.1 minutes[1]
Epoch21 August 2018, 09:08:49 UTC[1]
Band32 Ku band
to be reduced to 28 as craft aged.
Bandwidth28x33 megahertz
TWTA power28x98W
EIRP51 decibel-watts


The satellite suffered pre-launch technical issues with its apogee motors and was moved to a launch by the Proton rocket rather than the Ariane 5, as the Proton can inject directly in GEO.[2]

When positioned at 28E, it joined DFS Kopernikus 1, which served mainly Eastern Europe. The satellite was the first of Astra's craft to never carry analogue television services (with the exception of a solitary test card in 1999[3]), and as of 2006, carried standard definition digital television, digital radio, and high-definition digital television, as well as Sky Interactive streams and the AVC Broadband and Silvermead satellite Internet services. Two beams "2A North" and "2A South" transmit on horizontal and vertical polarisation. The South beam covers almost all of Europe, with the North beam covering only Northern Europe at a high power.

In March 2015, two years beyond Astra 2A's projected lifespan, and following the launches of Astra 2E in 2013, Astra 2F in 2012, and Astra 2G in 2014 to 28.2°E, all remaining traffic was transferred from Astra 2A to the newer satellites.[4] From March 25, 2015, Astra 2A remained at 28.2°E, inactive, and was expected to be moved to Astra 23.5°E to operate as a backup satellite to Astra 3B[5] but in the summer of 2016 it was instead moved to 113.5°E.[6] In July 2018 Astra 2A started moving west at approximately 0.6°/day[7] to arrive at its new position of 100°E in August 2018.[8]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e "ASTRA 2A Satellite details 1998-050A NORAD 25462". N2YO. 20 August 2018. Retrieved August 21, 2018.
  2. ^ The Satellite Encyclopaedia
  3. ^ LyngSat (archived)
  4. ^ Astra 2A frequencies moved to Astra 2E and 2F The Sat And PC Guy March 5, 2015. Accessed March 25, 2015
  5. ^ Where markets grow via satellite: Our global satellite fleet SES January 2012
  6. ^ Real Time Satellite Tracking And Predictions Accessed October 30, 2016
  8. ^ Real Time Satellite Tracking And Predictions Accessed August 20, 2018

External linksEdit