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Astra 2E gets another planned launch date

IN BRIEF The latest launch date for the so far ill-fated Astra 2E satellite launch has been announced.

According to Spacenews.com, Astra 2E - the next satellite to serve the UK and Ireland with Freesat and Sky TV and radio channels will now launch from Kazakhstan on the 30th September 2013.

Astra 2E's original launch in July was delayed, originally until mid-September, when a Proton rocket carrying another load crashed following the incorrect installation of three yaw angular rate sensors located on the launch vehicle.  Several senior members of staff were sacked following the incident. Security concerns were blamed as one of the factors behind the delay of another two weeks until the end of September.

If all goes to plan, TV services could begin migrating to the new satellite before the end of the year. As far as free-to-air channels for the British Isles are concerned, UK and Irish satellite viewers are unlikely to notice any changes to their reception.


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