Astra 2A is one of the Astra communications satellites owned by SES. Launched in 1998, 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. 21 transponders are active, , with two of these active but unused.
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 was deemed more suitable considering the craft's precarious state.
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), and as of 2006, carries 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, both of which transmit on horizontal and vertical polarisation, exist - "2A North" and "2A South". The South beam covers almost all of Europe, with the North beam covering only Northern Europe at a high power.
By 2014, following the launches of Astra 2E, Astra 2F, and Astra 2G to 28.2 E, Astra 2A is expected to be moved to Astra 23.5 E, alongside Astra 3A, Astra 3B, and Astra 1E.
Astra 2B co-located satellite
Astra 2D co-located satellite
Astra 1N co-located satellite
- Astra 28.2 E orbital position
- SES satellite operator
- Astra satellite family
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