Astra 1E
Mission typeCommunications
OperatorSociété Européenne des Satellites / SES S.A.
COSPAR ID1995-055A Edit this at Wikidata
SATCAT no.23686
Mission duration15 years (planned)
20 years (achieved)
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft typeBoeing 601
ManufacturerHughes Space and Communications
Launch mass3,014 kg (6,645 lb)
Power4.7 kW
Start of mission
Launch date19 October 1995, 00:38:00 UTC
RocketAriane 42L H10-3 (V79)
Launch siteCentre Spatial Guyanais, ELA-2
Entered serviceDecember 1995
End of mission
DisposalGraveyard orbit
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric orbit[1]
RegimeGeostationary orbit
Longitude19.2° East (1995-2007)
23.5° East (2007-2010)
5.2° East (2010-2012)
108.2° East (2012-2014)
31.5° East (2014-2015)
23° East (2015)
Band18 Ku-band
BandwidthFSS: 26 Mhz
BSS: 33 MHz
Coverage areaEurope

Astra 1E is one of the Astra communications satellites in geostationary orbit owned and operated by SES. It was launched in October 1995 to the Astra 19.2°E orbital slot initially to provide digital television and radio for direct-to-home (DTH) across Europe.

Astra 1E was the first Astra satellite to be dedicated to digital television broadcasting and it carried many of the first digital televion channels from networks broadcasting to France, Germany, and other European countries in the 1990s.[citation needed]

The satellite originally provided two broadcast beams, of horizontal and vertical polarisation, for Fixed Service Satellite (FSS) (10.70-10.95 GHz) and for Broadcast Satellite Service (BSS) (11.70-12.10 GHz) frequency bands. The FSS beams provide footprints that cover essentially the same area of Europe – northern, central and eastern Europe, including Spain and northern Italy – while the BSS horizontal beam excludes Spain and extends further east, and the BSS vertical beam includes Spain and more of southern Italy but does not extend so far east.[2] Within the footprints, television signals are usually received with a 60–80 cm dish.

In October 2007, following the successful deployment of Astra 1L at 19.2° East, Astra 1E was moved to Astra's new DTH orbital position, 23.5° East[3] where it provided capacity for the transmission of new services including the ASTRA2Connect two-way satellite broadband Internet service which provides high speed internet access and Voice over IP (VoIP) without landline connection at up to 2 Mbit/s download speeds and 128 kbit/s upload [4] using four Ku-band transponders for both forward and return paths from the user's remote terminal.[5]

In May 2010, Astra 3B was launched to the 23.5° East position, coming into service in June 2010, at which time the services using Astra 1E were transferred to the new craft. In August 2010, Astra 1E left the 23.5° East position moving westwards, to the Astra 5°E position to provide backup for Astra 4A pending the launch of Astra 4B to that position in 2011. At 5° East, Astra 1E carried very little television traffic.[6] Following the launch of Astra 4B (renamed to SES-5) in February 2012,[7] Astra 1E was moved to 108.2° East, in inclined orbit and with no traffic, and then to 31.5° East in Summer 2013. It returned to 23° East in February 2015 and then started moving 5.4° West per day in June 2015, which (as of November 2019) it has continued to do.[8]


The satellite was retired in 2015 and was moved into a graveyard orbit above the geostationary belt.[9]

See also


  1. ^ "ASTRA 1E". Retrieved 7 April 2021.
  2. ^ "Astra 1E". SES ASTRA. Archived from the original on 23 September 2008. Retrieved 19 September 2008.
  3. ^ "23.5° East is a new orbital slot for Direct to Home and ASTRA2Connect / ASTRA 1E replaces ASTRA 1D" (Press release). SES ASTRA. 23 October 2007. Retrieved 26 January 2012.
  4. ^ SES ASTRA "ASTRA2Connect Broadband and VoIP" (August 2008) SES Fact Sheet
  5. ^ "Astra 1E at 23.5° E". LyngSat. Archived from the original on 12 September 2008. Retrieved 19 September 2008.
  6. ^ "Astra 1E at 4.6° E". LyngSat. Archived from the original on 25 August 2010. Retrieved 4 October 2010.
  7. ^ "SES-4 Satellite Now Operational" (Press release). SES ASTRA. 18 April 2012. Retrieved 15 February 2013.
  8. ^ "Real Time Satellite Tracking And Predictions". Retrieved 7 April 2021.
  9. ^ "Astra 1E, 1F". Gunter's Space Page. 11 December 2017. Retrieved 7 April 2021.