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October 19, 2012

EUTELSAT 21B Satellite Being Prepared for November Launch

By Anshu Shrivastava, TMCnet Contributor

Eutelsat (News - Alert) Communications has said that its EUTELSAT 21B satellite has arrived in Kourou, French Guiana, and is now being prepared for launch, scheduled on November 09, 2012 by Arianespace (News - Alert) on board an Ariane 5 rocket – Flight VA210.

The new satellite is expected to replace EUTELSAT 21A, which will be subsequently redeployed to another location for continued commercial service.

Thales (News - Alert) Alenia Space has used its Spacebus 4000 platform to build EUTELSAT 21B for Eutelsat. The new satellite weighs five tons at lift-off and is designed to operate in orbit for 15 years.

The Spacebus 4000 platform is a medium-class telecommunication satellite – launch mass from 3000 kg for the B2 version to 5900 kg for the C4 version – with a strong successful flight heritage and proposed with a realistic and safe manufacturing schedule.

According to Thales Alenia Space, the platform can easily accommodate a large range of payloads in every band, including Ku, C, Ka, X, S and L, to satisfy customer needs.

The 40-transponder Ku-band satellite is expected to occupy the 21.5-degrees East position. Eutelsat’s officials said the company has developed it since 1999 into a location of choice for telcos, enterprises and government administrations that are operating in Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia.

Eutelsat Communications is the holding company of Eutelsat S.A. (News - Alert) With capacity commercialized on 29 satellites that provide coverage across Europe, as well as the Middle East, Africa and significant parts of Asia and the Americas, the company is one of the world’s three leading satellite operators.

Earlier this month, the company announced the order of a new satellite from Thales Alenia Space. Called EUTELSAT 8 West B, the high-capacity spacecraft, slated to be launched in 2015 at 8 degrees West, joins satellites that are already operated at the adjacent 7 degrees West position by Eutelsat and the Egyptian satellite company, Nilesat.

Edited by Braden Becker

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