Astra 2A Satellite
The Astra 2A satellite launched on 30th August 1998. Astra 2A was deployed at was located at 28.2° east, the main orbital position for direct-to-home satellite TV services in the UK and Ireland, mainly the broadcast of Sky TV and the other UK TV satellite channels.
Astra 2A satellite was designed with 32 Ku band transponders, although this would be reduced to 28 as the satellite aged.
Astra 2A satellite was designed with an operational life of 12 years.
The satellite was the first of Astras craft to never carry analogue television services, and as of 2006, carries standard definition digital television, digital radio, and high-definition digital television, as well as Sky Interactive streams and the AVC Broadband and Silvermead satellite internet services.
The Astra 2A satellite has two beams – a North beam and a South Beam. The satellite provides two broadcast beams, each with horizontal and vertical polarisation, across two footprints – 2A North (covering central Europe and Scandinavia) and 2A South (covering Central Europe and the Iberian peninsula and Canary Islands). In Spain, the satellite TV channels that are transmitted from the north beam frequencies may not be available on all satellite dishes 24/7. In fact, even on big 2.4m satellite dishes, these north beam frequencies can be difficult to receive all day.
In March 2015 , and following the launches of the new UK TV satellites Astra 2E, Astra 2F, and Astra 2G, all remaining channels were transferred from Astra 2A to the newer satellites. As of March 25, 2015 Astra 2A remains at the 28.2°E but it is inactive and is expected to be moved to Astra 23.5°E, to operate as a backup satellite to Astra 3B.