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Eutelsat W3B believed to be lost

Eutelsat’s W3B satellite suffered an anomaly related to its propulsion subsystem after apparently successfully launching last night and is believed to be lost. The satellite was launched from Kourou in French Guiana on board an Ariane-5 rocket, along with Broadcasting Satellite System Corp of Japan’s BSat-3b craft, which is believed to have launched successfully.

Eutelsat W3B was intended to be positioned at Eutelsat’s 16° East position, targeting central Europe and Africa, along with the Indian Ocean region. The 56-transponder craft would have replaced Eutelsat’s Eurobird 16, W2M and Sesat 1 satellites, which were to be moved to alternative positions.

The new satellite would have provided DTH services to central Europe, while a high-power beam would have provided DTH services to Indian Ocean islands including Mauritius and Reunion. The satellite would also have provided telecom and data services to sub-Saharan Africa.

Eutelsat intended to follow the W3B launch with December’s launch of the Ka-Sat all Ka-band satellite, designed to provide broadband and enterprise data services over Europe.