Astra 5B/3C
NamesAstra 5B (2014-2023)
Astra 3C (2023-)
Mission typeCommunications
OperatorSES S.A.
COSPAR ID2014-011B Edit this at Wikidata
SATCAT no.39617
Mission duration15 years (planned)
10 years, 3 months, 10 days (elapsed)
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft typeEurostar
(now Airbus Defence and Space)
Launch mass5,724 kg (12,619 lb)
Start of mission
Launch date22 March 2014, 22:04 UTC
RocketAriane 5 ECA (VA216)
Launch siteCentre Spatial Guyanais, ELA-3
Entered service2 June 2014
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric orbit
RegimeGeostationary orbit
Longitude31.5° East (2014-2023)
23.5° East (2023-)
Band43 transponders:
40 Ku-band
3 Ka-band
Coverage areaEurope

Astra 5B (now called Astra 3C) is one of the Astra communications satellites owned and operated by SES. It was launched as SES' 56th satellite in March 2014, to the newest of the Astra orbital positions for direct-to-home (DTH) satellite television, at 31.5° East[1] for DTH, DTT and cable use in Eastern Europe,.[2]

The satellite replaced the Astra 1G satellite at 31.5° East, which was itself filling in at that position after the loss of the Astra 5A satellite (originally called Sirius 2) in 2009,[3] Astra 2C was first used at 31.5° East to replace Astra 5A,[4] with Astra 1G positioned there in 2010.[5]

Astra 5B was the third satellite to be launched of four ordered together by SES from Astrium (now Airbus Defence and Space) in 2009.[6] The similar Astra 2E and Astra 2F were launched to Astra 28.2°E before Astra 5B in 2013 and 2012, respectively, and the fourth, Astra 2G was launched later, in 2014.[7]


The Astra 5B satellite provided two Ku-band broadcast beams, each of horizontal and vertical polarisation, across two footprints, called the High Power beam and the Wide beam.

Within these reception areas, Astra 5B provided capacity for direct-to-home (DTH) broadcasting, direct-to-cable (DTC), and contribution feeds to digital terrestrial television networks.[2]

The satellite will also carry a hosted L-band payload for the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) as EGNOS GEO-2.


Astra 5B was ordered by SES in 2009 and built by Astrium (now Airbus Defence and Space) on the Eurostar-3000 satellite bus.[6] The launch was originally scheduled for launch in the second quarter of 2013,[8] but that launch was cancelled because the other satellite (Optus 10) which was due to accompany Astra 5B on the Ariane 5 launch was pulled from the manifest pending a possible sale of Optus.[9]

The launch was then planned for 6 December 2013 with Hispasat's Amazonas 4A satellite as the co-passenger,[10] but it was announced in November 2013 that the launch had been postponed until January 2014 by delays to the availability of the Amazonas craft.[11] Finally, Ariane 5 VA216 was launched on 22 March 2014.[12]

Astra 5B began commercial operation at the Astra 31.5°E position on 2 June 2014,[13] and by the end of June 2014 had 18 active transponders carrying channels for eastern Europe.[14]

In July 2023 it was reported that all broadcasts had ceased and the satellite had moved to 23.5° East alongside Astra 3B.[15][16] There, channels broadcasting on Astra 3B began to be transferred to Astra 5B (indicating a problem with Astra 3B, which still had some two years of its design life remaining) and Astra 5B was renamed Astra 3C.[17][18]

See also


  1. ^ "SES: ASTRA 5B SATELLITE LAUNCH SUCCESS ON ARIANE 5" (Press release). SES ASTRA. 23 March 2014. Retrieved 27 March 2014.
  2. ^ a b "Astra 5B Factsheet" (PDF). SES. Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 November 2013. Retrieved 1 November 2013.
  3. ^ "SES ASTRA Announces End Of ASTRA 5A Spacecraft Mission" (Press release). SES ASTRA. 16 January 2009. Retrieved 31 October 2013.
  4. ^ "SES To Move ASTRA 2C Satellite To 31.5 Degrees East To Support Development Of New Orbital Position" (Press release). SES Astra. 10 March 2009. Retrieved 31 October 2013.
  5. ^ "ASTRA 3B SATELLITE SUCCESSFULLY LAUNCHED" (Press release). SES Astra. 22 May 2010. Retrieved 31 October 2013.
  6. ^ a b SES Selects Astrium To Build Four Direct Broadcast Satellites SpaceNews 27 November 2009 Accessed 2 October 2019
  7. ^ "ASTRA 2G SATELLITE ROARS INTO ORBIT" (Press release). SES. 28 November 2014. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
  8. ^ Satlaunch.Net 2013 Launch Schedule Archived 30 November 2012 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved December 24, 2011
  9. ^ SES's Astra 5B Launch Delayed Again as Ariane 5 Co-passenger Hispasat Calls Timeout To Tweak Satellite SpaceNews 13 November 2013 Accessed 28 November 2013
  10. ^ "Arianespace launches VA216 and VS06 scheduled respectively for December 6 and 20" (Press release). Arianespace. 29 October 2013. Archived from the original on 2 November 2013. Retrieved 28 November 2013.
  11. ^ "SES: ASTRA 5B LAUNCH DELAY DUE TO UNAVAILABILITY OF CO-PASSENGER SATELLITE" (Press release). SES ASTRA. 13 November 2013. Retrieved 29 November 2013.
  12. ^ "Launch program activity". ArianeSpace. Archived from the original on 9 February 2014. Retrieved 24 March 2014.
  13. ^ "SES: ASTRA 5B SATELLITE GOES LIVE AT 31.5 DEGREES EAST" (Press release). SES. 2 June 2014. Retrieved 27 June 2014.
  14. ^ Astra 5B at 31.5°E Accessed June 29, 2014
  15. ^ Astra 5B (31.5°E) does not broadcast channels Sat Universe. July 2023. Accessed 26 September 2023
  16. ^ ASTRA 5B Accessed 26 September 2023
  17. ^ SES Fleet Map SES. Accessed 25 December 2023
  18. ^ Astra 5B as Astra 3C broadcasts the first programmes for Skylink (Czech) 1 December 2023. Accessed 25 December 2023