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Eutelsat W3A, the first Eurostar E3000 satellite, reaches geostationary orbit

The W3A spacecraft, designed and built by EADS Astrium for EUTELSAT and launched by Proton on 16 March 2004, successfully performed early operations and in now in geostationary orbit.

Baikonour, 24 March 2004

After its launch from Baikonur by a Proton launch vehicle, the satellite’s perigee altitude was raised in several burns of its own engine until it reached geostationary orbit. Its solar arrays were successfully deployed as were the antenna reflectors, and the satellite is now accurately pointing to Earth. All systems are behaving nominally. As planned the satellite is slowly drifting round to its orbital position where it will be thoroughly tested before the payload can be brought into full operational service.

“This is a major event for EADS Astrium as W3A is the first of the Eurostar E3000 series. All over Europe our teams and our expertise were mobilised to make this event a success.” said Antoine Bouvier, CEO of EADS Astrium. “With the launch of W3A, its largest satellite so far, Eutelsat has demonstrated its confidence in the Eurostar E3000 and EADS Astrium’s overall capabilities.”

From its 7° East orbit location, W3A will provide a full range of services in Ku and Ka-band, to include business communications, Internet and television transmission, over a large area covering Europe and Africa.

The spacecraft has a launch mass of 4250 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 will provide commercial services for a minimum of 15 years. 37 EUROSTAR spacecraft have been ordered to date, of which 24 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 operators 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, science 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.

Press contact:
Tel.: +33 (0) 1 34 88 35 78

Alistair SCOTT
Tel.: +44 (0) 1438 77 3698

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

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