The EUTELSAT 9B satellite of Eutelsat Communications (NYSE Euronext Paris: ETL) was launched into geosynchronous transfer orbit by ILS using a Proton rocket that lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome.
Separation of Eutelsat´s new satellite occurred after a 9 hour 12 minute Proton flight. Partial deployment of the satellite´s solar panels, that represents the first critical post-launch operation, took place two hours later.
Following further manoeuvres and in-orbit tests, EUTELSAT 9B will be positioned at 9 degrees East in March to assume broadcasting of over 350 TV channels currently served at this position by EUTELSAT 9A and provide expansion capacity for new services.
EUTELSAT 9B also marks an industry first as the host satellite for the inaugural data relay payload for the European Data Relay System (EDRS) being implemented through a Public Private Partnership (PPP) between ESA and Airbus Defence and Space.
EUTELSAT 9B is a high-capacity Ku-band satellite for the 9Â° East position that sits at the crossroads of Europe´s leading video neighbourhoods.
Established in 1977, Eutelsat Communications is one of the world´s leading and most experienced operators of communications satellites. The company provides capacity on 40 satellites to clients that include broadcasters and broadcasting associations, pay-TV operators, video, data and Internet service providers, enterprises and government agencies.