Eutelsat Communications (NYSE Euronext Paris: ETL) announced that its EUTELSAT 3B satellite is ready for launch by a Zenit-3SL rocket operated by Sea Launch AG from the ocean-based Odyssey Launch Platform in the international waters of the Pacific Ocean.
The launch is scheduled for 26 May at 14:10 Pacific Daylight Time (21:10 UTC, 23:10 CET) at the opening of a 54-minute launch window.
The launch will be a memorable event for 16-year old Kenyan student Eva Chemngorem as the rocket’s fairing is decorated with her winning poster. Eva is one of the two winners of last year’s DStv Eutelsat Star Awards. The competition is in response to a growing need to popularise science and to create excitement about space technology in young people.
This pan African initiative is a collaboration between MultiChoice and Eutelsat and is geared towards encouraging students to either write an essay or design a poster about the benefits of satellite technology on the continent. Since its inception, the competition has drawn over a 3000 entries across the continent and has invigorated a passion for science amongst the younger generation.
“These Awards have afforded young people the opportunity to not only grow their confidence levels but to represent the continent on the global stage.
MultiChoice Africa is encouraged every year by the success of these awards to plough more resources into this initiative as it becomes more evident that the future and development of this continent lies in the hands of young people,” said Nico Meyer, CEO of MultiChoice Africa. Michel de Rosen, Eutelsat’s Chairman and CEO highlighted the growing value of space for technological advancement, social inclusion and economic growth and added. “Space is a fantastic environment for sparking interest in science by African students and for developing knowledge in the high-tech sector that will benefit the continent.
A rocket launch is an exceptional moment that brings people together from around the world. We are delighted to honour the creativity of Africa’s young population and to see the artistic work of Eva Chemngorem, who we welcomed in Paris last year, decorate the rocket taking our latest satellite into space.”
Built for Eutelsat by Airbus Defence and Space, EUTELSAT 3B is designed to increase and diversify Eutelsat’s resources and footprint at its 3° East orbital position.
The first satellite to assemble Ku, C and Ka payloads in a single platform, it will operate up to 51 transponders. Its innovative tri-band configuration will enable customers to select from three frequency bands adapted to data, telecom, broadband and professional video services that are connected to a wide range of footprints covering Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia and South America.
The launch of EUTELSAT 3B will be video streamed live on www.eutelsat.com.