ABS-EUTELSAT Separation (16788442562).jpg
Mission typeCommunications
COSPAR ID2015-010A[1]
SATCAT no.40424[1]
Mission duration15 years (planned)
Spacecraft properties
BusBoeing 702SP
Launch mass4,354 pounds (1,975 kg)
Dry mass3,759 pounds (1,705 kg)
Power>10.9kW at 15 years
Start of mission
Launch dateMarch 2, 2015, 03:50 (2015-03-02UTC03:50Z) UTC
RocketFalcon 9 v1.1
Launch siteCape Canaveral SLC-40
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric
Longitude3° West
Band24 Ku band, 24 C band
Frequency13.750-14.750 / 10.700-11.200, 11.450-11.700, 12.500-12.750 (Ku band), 5.850-6.425/3.625-4.200 (C band)
Bandwidth72 MHz (Ku band, C band)
TWTA power150 watts (Ku band),70 watts (C band)

ABS-3A is a communications satellite operated by ABS (formerly known as Asia Broadcast Satellite), providing coverage in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.[2] It is positioned in geostationary orbit at 3° West, and offers C and Ku-band payload capacity to support video, data, mobility and government applications. The satellite is the first commercial communications satellite in orbit to use electric propulsion, providing a significant weight savings.[3]

Manufacture and specifications

The satellite was designed and manufactured by Boeing, and is a Boeing 702SP model communication satellite.[4] It will be located at 3 degrees West longitude.[2] It was launched on board a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on 2 March 2015 (UTC time).

The satellite is propelled solely by electrically powered spacecraft propulsion, with the on-board thrusters used for both geostationary orbit insertion and station keeping.

The satellite is based on the Boeing 702 satellite bus, and was launched along with Eutelsat 115 West B, which is based on the same bus. The satellite had a launch mass of 4,354 pounds (1,975 kg).[5]

The satellite utilizes three C-band beams and four Ku-band beams. The C-band beams cover the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Additionally, the C-band can be used globally. The Ku-band beams extend across Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, and South Africa, as well as providing further coverage of the Americas.[2]


The launch of the Falcon 9 rocket carrying ABS-3A.
The launch of the Falcon 9 rocket carrying ABS-3A.

The launch occurred on March 2, 2015 at 03:50 UTC and the satellite has been deployed in the planned supersynchronous transfer orbit.[6][7]

The launch is also notable for being the first flight of Boeing's stacked satellite configuration for the Boeing 702SP,[8] a configuration Boeing designed specifically to take advantage of the SpaceX Falcon 9 v1.1 capabilities.[4]

On-orbit operations

The satellite became fully operational as a geosynchronous communications satellite by 10 September 2015 after a handover from Boeing to ABS for on-orbit operations on 31 August 2015, approximately one month earlier than planned.[9]

See also


  1. ^ a b "ABS 3A Satellite details 2015-010A NORAD 40424". N2YO. 19 March 2015. Retrieved 19 March 2015.
  2. ^ a b c "Satellite Fleet ABS-3A". Asia Broadcast Satellite. Retrieved 27 February 2015.
  3. ^ Clark, Stephen (1 March 2015). "Boeing's first two all-electric satellites ready for launch". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 2 March 2015.
  4. ^ a b Svitak, Amy (10 March 2014). "SpaceX Says Falcon 9 To Compete For EELV This Year". Aviation Week. Retrieved 2015-02-28. But the Falcon 9 is not just changing the way launch-vehicle providers do business; its reach has gone further, prompting satellite makers and commercial fleet operators to retool business plans in response to the low-cost rocket. In March 2012, Boeing announced the start of a new line of all-electric telecommunications spacecraft, the 702SP, which are designed to launch in pairs on a Falcon 9 v1.1. Anchor customers Asia Broadcast Satellite (ABS) of Hong Kong and Mexico's SatMex plan to loft the first two of four such spacecraft on a Falcon 9 in December in a launch window that opens this year, though SatMex owner Eutelsat said last month that the launch has moved to early 2015. Using electric rather than chemical propulsion will mean the satellites take months, rather than weeks, to reach their final orbital destination. But because all-electric spacecraft are about 40% lighter than their conventional counterparts, the cost to launch them is considerably less than that for a chemically propelled satellite.
  5. ^ Bergin, Chris (25 February 2015). "Legless Falcon 9 conducts Static Fire test ahead of Sunday launch". NASASpaceFlight. Retrieved 27 February 2015.
  6. ^ "EUTELSAT 115 West B launched successfully into space". Eutelsat. 2 March 2015. Retrieved 3 March 2015.
  7. ^ Graham, William (1 March 2015). "SpaceX Falcon 9 launches debut dual satellite mission". NASASpaceFlight. Retrieved 3 March 2015.
  8. ^ Climer, John. "Boeing: Stacked Satellites Tested for the Rigors of Space". Boeing. Retrieved 26 February 2015.
  9. ^ Boeing: World’s First All-Electric Propulsion Satellite Begins Operations, Boeing press release, 10 September 2015, accessed 2015-10-31.