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Airbus Beluga Flies New EUTELSAT Satellite To Launch Site

The Airbus-crafted EUTELSAT 36D satellite is heading for its launch site in Florida aboard the iconic BelugaST.

  • 22nd Airbus-built satellite for EUTELSAT
  • Fourth Airbus Eurostar Neo satellite delivered

Flying the EUTELSAT 36D Satellite to Launch Site

The Airbus-manufactured EUTELSAT 36D satellite has flown from Toulouse to Sanford, Florida, using an Airbus BelugaST. It will launch on a SpaceX Falcon 9 from Kennedy Space Center later this month.

EUTELSAT 36D, crafted on the Eurostar Neo platform, will deliver TV broadcasting and government services across Africa, Europe, and the Middle East for over 15 years.

The introduction of the newer BelugaXL makes the older BelugaST fleet fully available for global oversized cargo transport.

Philippe Pham, Head of Telecommunications & Navigation Systems at Airbus, said: “EUTELSAT 36D is the latest milestone of our longstanding partnership with Eutelsat stretching back more than 30 years. It is the 22nd geo satellite we have built for them and will provide extended capacity over Africa and Eurasia.”

Fourth Eurostar Neo In Orbit

The EUTELSAT 36D satellite is fully electric and equipped with 70 Ku-band transponders. It will continue the core functions of its predecessor, the EUTELSAT 36B, while providing improved coverage and performance.

It is the fourth Eurostar Neo in orbit. Eurostar Neo satellites combine increased payload capacity and more efficient power and thermal control systems with reduced production time and optimized costs as part of a fully digitalized production process. EUTELSAT 36D combines 18 kW of electric power with a reduced launch mass of approximately five metric tonnes, enabled by Airbus’ EOR (Electric Orbit Raising) capability, reinforcing Airbus’ position as the world leader in electric propulsion.

The Eurostar Neo is a new family of telecommunications satellites by Airbus, developed with support from various agencies, including ESA, CNES, and UKSA. This is the third time an Airbus Beluga aircraft has delivered a geostationary satellite to the Kennedy Space Center. This operation highlights Airbus’s capability to provide an independent European transport solution. Airbus carried out similar missions with HOTBIRD 13G in October 2022 and Inmarsat 6-F2 satellites in January last year.

Learn more about the Airbus Beluga Transport.

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