After a year’s delay, Eutelsat’s Hotbird 13F is ready to be shipped to its launch site in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The new satellite is one of two to replace aging satellites and boost reception.
Hotbird 13F is the first telecommunications satellite built under ESA’s Eurostar Neo programme. The satellite is due to be joined in orbit next year by identical twin Hotbird 13G. Both satellites will have an output of 22 kW each and a launch mass of 4.5 tons. They are each equipped with 80 Ku-band transponders.
The launch of the Hot Bird 13F orbiter was originally planned for the second quarter of 2021.
Hotbird in the UK
Eutelsat’s Hotbird orbital position at 13° East supplies 1000s of channels across Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. It is the main satellite used in the UK for viewers wishing to access Polish and Italian TV services. Hotbird is used by a number of international broadcasters to indirectly reach viewers in the UK and Europe, where channel feeds are picked up by cable and IPTV head-ends. The BBC uses Hotbird to distribute the World Service to households and operators across Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.
Launch scheduled for 14th October 2022
The new orbiter is currently scheduled to be launched on 14th October from Block 5’s Cape Canaveral, Florida spaceport on a Falcon 9 rocket developed and manufactured by SpaceX. That’s according to the latest information from Rocket Launch Live and could still change. This link will provide the most up-to-date information.
Once launched into geostationary orbit some 36,000km above the Earth, the twin satellites are expected to enhance and enhance the delivery of more than a thousand television channels to homes across Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. They’ll replace the existing Hot Bird 9, 10 and 13 satellites.
The new satellites are also due to provide a stronger signal across Europe thanks to a powerful new European Superbeam.
[Image: artist’s rendition of Hotbird 13F/Airbus]