The spacecraft for the EUTELSAT 3B mission contracted for launch by Sea Launch has been delivered on February 19th to the “Home Port” launch complex in Long Beach, California. Following unloading, the satellite was delivered to the clean room area of the 16-acre payload processing facility, where mission operations and integration efforts are now underway.
After standalone spacecraft operations are completed, EUTELSAT 3B will be handed over to Sea Launch’s prime contractor, Energia Logistics, Ltd., to be mated with the payload support structure and integrated with the Zenit-3SL launch vehicle before departure to the launch site in early April. The launch of the EUTELSAT 3B satellite is scheduled for mid-April.
The EUTELSAT 3B communications satellite departed from the Toulouse, France manufacturing facilities of Airbus Defence and Space on February 17th and arrived at the Long Beach Airport (LGB) on-board an Antonov An-124 cargo aircraft yesterday. It was subsequently transferred via surface roads on an oversized transport vehicle with representatives from Eutelsat, Airbus Defence and Space and Energia Logistics Ltd. on hand to receive the spacecraft.
Based on the Eurostar E3000 platform of Airbus Defense and Space, the EUTELSAT 3B satellite has been designed to operate three commercial payloads in the C, Ku and Ka bands. This tri-band configuration will deliver exceptional levels of in-orbit flexibility and coverage from Eutelsat’s expanding 3° East neighourhood. The satellite will enable Eutelsat to diversify its commercial response to Internet Service Providers, telcos, government agencies and broadcasters operating in Latin America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia. EUTELSAT 3B has a designed in-orbit lifetime exceeding 15 years.