SES Astra has successfully de-orbited and switched off its Astra 5A satellite. Following a technical incident in January this year, SES Astra had to put Astra 5A out of service and end the spacecraft`s mission. A team of technical experts and engineers since then succeeded in removing the satellite from the geostationary orbit at 36,000 kilometres altitude from the Earth equator and move it into a higher, secure orbit outside the geostationary ring.
Astra 5A, formerly called Sirius 2, was technically managed by the Sirius Control Center, a unit of the Swedish Space Corporation (SSC). A task force of experts from SSC, SES and Thales Alenia Space, as the manufacturer of the satellite, conducted the spacecraft monitoring and stabilization following the technical anomaly in January. After several weeks of close cooperation, the team regained control of the spacecraft and brought it back to nominal operational mode. It was able to reload the batteries on board through the solar panels by acquiring a stable spacecraft position towards the Sun. The improved energy supply was then used to nominally operate the positioning systems on board of the satellite and perform its move out of the geostationary orbit.
SES Astra has announced to move its spacecraft Astyra 2C to 31.5 degrees East, the orbital position formerly occupied by Astra 5A, in order to resume the services for customers from that position.
(Source: SES Astra)
- SES to temporarily move Astra 2C satellite to 31.5 degrees east
- Astra 5A satellite taken out of service following ‘technical anomaly’