Oct 282014

Astra 2G, the third and final new UK TV satellite is expected to launch from Baikonur on the 28th November 2014.

Astra 2G will replace the aging Astra 2A satellite, and will mean some reception changes for the affected Sky channels, for people in Spain and other areas of Europe.

This week the Astra 2G satellite was flown from France to Kazakhstan this week for pre-launch testing and fuelling.

However, the giant Russian Antonov aircraft carrying Astra 2G satellite to the Baikonur Cosmodrome was forced to make an emergency landing around 3am (GMT) October 28th at a remote airfield with a failed engine.

The aircraft engineers said the aircraft’s engine would be repaired and the flight resumed within a matter of hours.

The satellite, built by Airbus of France, is in a sealed, climate controlled, transportation container.

The owners of the aircraft, the Volga-Dnepr Group, say the valuable cargo was not damaged during the landing. However, sources at satellite owner SES suggest that the satellite has yet to be examined and expressed concern as to whether the inspection could take place at Baikonur, or whether the craft would have to be returned to Airbus for a full – and time-consuming – examination. This may delay the proposed launch on November 27th.


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