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W3A spacecraft ready for launch

* W3A Technical Characteristics
* Evolution of the last eight satellites built by EADS Astrium for EUTELSAT

Baikonur, 12 March 2004

Designed and built by EADS Astrium for EUTELSAT, the W3A spacecraft, the first of the Eurostar E3000 series, is scheduled for launch on a PROTON launch vehicle from Baikonur on 16 March 2004 at 04:07 (00:07 CET time). When in orbit, it will provide a full range of services in Ku and Ka-bands, to include business communications and Internet and television transmission over a large area covering Europe and Africa, from its 7° degree East orbit location.

EADS Astrium, as prime contractor for W3A, supplied both the payload and platform and integrated and tested the spacecraft. Most of EADS Astrium’s facilities around Europe participated in the manufacturing process. The solar arrays and repeater equipment came from Germany, communications payload, antennas and structure came from the UK, electrical harness from Spain and the avionics and final integra-tion and test were completed in France.

The satellite carries 50 operational Ku- and Ka-band transponders with on-board digital multiplexing for up to 6 channels. The spacecraft has a launch mass of 4,250 kg, a solar array span of 35 metres once deployed in orbit, and a spacecraft power of 9.6 kW at end of life. The satellite, operating in geostationary orbit, will provide commercial services for a minimum of 15 years.

37 EUROSTAR spacecraft have been ordered to date, of which 23 have already been launched and have proven highly reliable in operational service. W3A is the first in the E3000 series, of which nine others are currently in production. The E3000 platform features a high degree of modularity, which, due to its wide range of configurations, enables it to match mission requirements precisely and to offer op-erators a comprehensive range of power options.

EADS Astrium is Europe’s leading satellite system specialist. Its activities cover complete civil and military telecommunications and Earth observation systems, sci-ence and navigation programmes, and all spacecraft avionics and equipment. EADS Astrium is a wholly owned subsidiary of EADS SPACE, which is dedicated to providing civil and defence space systems. In 2003 EADS SPACE had a turnover of €2.4 billion and 12,000 employees in France, Germany, the United Kingdom and Spain. EADS is a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2003, EADS generated revenues of € 30.1 billion and employed a workforce of more than 100,000.

W3A Technical Characteristics

Spacecraft Eurostar 3000
Main body dimensions Height:
5.8 m
2.4 m
2.9 m
Solar array span deployed 35 m
Launch mass 4250 kg
DC power (end of life) 9600 W
Design lifetime 15 years
Orbital position 7 deg. east
Frequency bands Ku and Ka
Number of transponders 50 active transponders in Ku- and Ka-Bands
Coverage Pan-European, Mediterranean & Arabic regions, Aegean regions,
Mid- & South Africa

Evolution of the last eight satellites built by EADS Astrium for EUTELSAT

Satellites Model Launch date Position Mission Number of Channels Launch mass in kg
Hot Bird 8 E3000 Early 2006 13 deg. E TV 64 5000
W3A E3000 March 2004 07 deg. E Telecom
50 4300
Hot Bird 7 E2000+ Dec.2002 launch failure TV 40 3300
W1 E2000+ Sept.2000 10 deg. E Telecom 28 3250
Eurobird 2 (Hot Bird 5) E2000+ Oct. 1998 25.5 deg. E TV 20 3000
Hot Bird 4 E2000+ Feb. 1998 13 deg. E TV 20 2900
Hot Bird 3 E2000+ Sep. 1997 13 deg. E TV 20 2900
Hot Bird 2 E2000+ Nov. 1996 13 deg. E TV 20 2900


EADS Astrium was also responsible for construction of Eutelsat’s first generation of satellites, the ECS/EUTELSAT I series, as well as Telecom 2D, Telecom 2A and DFS Copernicus 2 on which it has commercialised capacity. The company also provided the payloads for HOT BIRD 1 and the five EUTELSAT II spacecraft.

Press Contact
Rémi Roland
Tel.: +33 (0) 1 34 88 35 78

Alistair Scott
Tel.: +44 (0) 1438 77 36 98

Mathias Pikelj
Tel.: +49 (0) 7545 8 91 23

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