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Astra 1K



Astra 1K was to be a European (Luxembourg-based) geostationary communications spacecraft that was launched by a Proton-K rocket from Baikonur at 23:04 UT on 25 November 2002. However, the DM-3 booster attached to the 5.0 tonne, 13 kW spacecraft (reported to be the most massive of civilian communications spacecraft, with its 52 Ku-band and two Ka-band transponders to cover 1,100 channels) was miscommanded to separate after the first burn, resulting in the spacecraft orbiting at a very low orbit. In an effort to prevent imminent re-entry, the spacecraft was raised to a circular orbit at an altitude of 290 km. Three options are now under consideration: (a) to force its re-entry over the Pacific ocean, (b) to retrieve it by a US shuttle, and (c) to use up all the fuel on board the satellite to move it to a geostationary orbit at 19.2 degrees E longitude. The relative security provided by the current orbit provides adequate time for selecting the best option.

Alternate Names

  • 27557
  • Astra1K

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 2002-11-25
Launch Vehicle: Proton-K
Launch Site: Tyuratam (Baikonur Cosmodrome), Kazakhstan
Mass: 5250 kg

Funding Agency

  • Societe Europeenne des Satellites (Luxembourg) (Luxembourg)


  • Communications

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this spacecraft can be directed to: Coordinated Request and User Support Office

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