Successful launch of EUTELSAT HOTBIRD 13G satellite

Successful launch of EUTELSAT HOTBIRD 13G satellite
Photo Credit: SpaceX
  • Second of two satellites to be placed at Eutelsat’s flagship 13-degree East position
  • Bringing newest resources and enhanced services at Eutelsat EMEA’S leading TV neighborhood
  • Capex optimization with replacement of three existing satellites by two, and application of design-to-cost policy
  • Satellite hosting the EGNOS GEO-4 payload, enabling the EUSPA to deliver reliable and secure space-based services

Eutelsat Communications announced that EUTELSAT HOTBIRD 13G satellite was successfully launched into Geostationary Transfer Orbit by SpaceX using a Falcon 9 rocket that lifted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, USA at 1.22 am Eastern time on November 3rd (corresponding to 5.22 am UTC and 6.22 am CET on November 3rd).

The separation of the all-electric satellite occurred after a 35-minute flight and the spacecraft systems initialisation was successfully completed over a period of 3 hours.

EUTELSAT HOTBIRD 13G is the second of two satellites built by manufacturer Airbus Defence and Space to be placed at Eutelsat’s flagship 13-degree East neighbourhood position, replacing three older satellites. It is also based on the Eurostar Neo telecommunications satellite platform, developed under an ESA Partnership Project with Airbus designed to foster innovation and competitiveness in the European space industry. Once into orbit and positioned, the satellite EUTELSAT HOTBIRD 13G will, with its twin EUTELSAT HOTBIRD 13F launched on October 15th, reinforce and enhance the broadcast of more than a thousand television channels into homes across Europe, Northern Africa and the Middle East. Moreover, the two satellites will offer advanced features in terms of uplink signal protection and resilience.

In February 2021, Eutelsat was entrusted once again by the European Union Agency for the Space Programme (EUSPA) to host the EGNOS GEO-4 payload, which is on board EUTELSAT HOTBIRD 13G. Eutelsat already operates the EGNOS GEO-3 payload on its EUTELSAT 5 West B satellite.

EGNOS is the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service that acts as an augmentation service to global positioning systems, to improve the reliability of positioning information. This is ensured by a crucial integrity message which is essential in aviation where the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) alone does not satisfy strict operational requirements set by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). It is especially important during critical aircraft flight stages such as the final approach. Other transport means including maritime and rail benefit from this EGNOS Safety of Life service. EGNOS also increases the positioning accuracy for other applications, such as precision farming, geomatics, land management and maritime.

Eva Berneke, Eutelsat Chief Executive Officer said: “EUTELSAT HOTBIRD 13G is now on its way to join EUTELSAT HOTBIRD 13F at our flagship 13-degree East position. We also look forward to completing the GNSS network for our European Union long term customer and partner, the EUSPA. My congratulations to the Eutelsat, Airbus and SpaceX teams for another successful launch into geostationary orbit.”

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