5B is Up

The new ASTRA 5B satellite has been successfully launched into orbit to provide more capacity for broadcasts to Eastern Europe and neighbouring countries. ASTRA 5B will be positioned at the 31.5°E orbital position, where ASTRA 1G is currently in use, to provide direct-to-home TV broadcasts and channel feeds to cable and terrestrial TV networks in Central and Eastern Europe, Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

Although ASTRA 5B has been ready for launch since the end of last year, lift off from the European spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana had been delayed because of the unavailability of the other craft with which it was sharing the launch rocket.