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Eutelsat decommissions Eutelsat 5 West A satellite

Eva Berneke Eutelsat CEO.jpg

Eutelsat has retired its Eutelsat 5 West A satellite after over 20 years in-orbit operation.

The satellite was re-orbited as planned to more than 400km above the geostationary arc as part of the process.

The final operation to de-activate the remaining radio frequency source was performed from the Issy-les-Moulineaux Satellite Control Centre on January 13.

Eva Berneke, Eutelsat CEO said: “The impressive extended lifespan of Eutelsat 5 West A showcases the first-rate satellite control expertise of the Eutelsat teams.

“The satellite provided an overall service availability of 99.999%, a figure that stands as a testament to the hard work and dedication of all the Eutelsat teams who have worked together throughout the years on this mission.”

The satellite was launched in July 2002 and bought by Eutelsat before being renamed Atlantic Bird-3, operating from the 5° West orbital position where it remained for its entire operational life.

The Eutelsat 5 West A satellite continued to operate until its decommissioning, notably providing maritime connectivity.

It was labelled a disruptive satellite for the Group, enabling the transition to digital television, notably in France in the early 2000s, when analogue television technology was converted to and replaced by digital broadcasting.