Each weekend, an image that made the news or caught our attention. On March 24, Airbus shared a series of rare views confirming the deployment of a communications satellite into geostationary orbit.
Five months of EOR
Built by Airbus Defence and Space for French satellite communications operator Eutelsat, the geostationary Hotbird 13F satellite (4 500 kg at liftoff) had been successfully placed on October 15 into a transfer orbit of 858 × 57 152 km, inclined at 25.5° to the equator.
The mission had been flown by a Falcon 9 launch vehicle from SpaceX, operating from Cape Canaveral AFB, Florida (the 47th SpaceX launch of the year 2022).
The satellite, the first equipped with the electrically powered platform Eurostar Neo, had then begun its Electric Orbit Raising mission.
This one thus lasted five months as planned.
Once installed at the 13° E position, the Hotbird 13F satellite underwent the traditional in-orbit tests prior to its commissioning.
To that end, a black-and-white camera was attached to the end of one of the robotic arms that house the electric thrusters.
This camera was used to take several selfies of the satellite, at a distance of 36 000 km from Earth, including this lovely view that shows our planet, which has just experienced its spring equinox.
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