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  • Joe Breitfeller

Airbus BelugaST Lands at Kennedy Space Center With HOTBIRD 13G Satellite for Eutelsat

This past weekend, an Airbus BelugaST (A300-600ST) landed at the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral in Florida, delivering the Airbus-built HOTBIRD 13G Satellite for Eutelsat, following the successful launch of its twin by a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.


Airbus BelugaST Delivers Airbus-Built HOTBIRD 13G Satellite to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida - Courtesy Airbus

On Monday (October 17, 2022), Airbus announced that this past weekend a BelugaST (A300-600ST) arrived at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, delivering the Airbus-built HOTBIRD 13 G satellite for Eutelsat. With the introduction of the new BelugaXL, based on the larger A330-200 platform, the existing BelugaST fleet is being made available for outsized freight transport services worldwide. The satellite delivery follows the successful launch of its twin, HOTBIRD 13F, which was launched on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket hours earlier. The twin satellites are the first members of the new ‘Eurostar Neo’ family of Airbus telecommunications spacecraft, based on next-generation technologies developed with support from the European Space Agency (ESA) and others, including the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (SNES) and the UK Space Agency (UKSA).


In Monday’s announcement, Airbus’ Head of Space Systems, Jean-Marc Nasr, said,


“It is a true honour to consecutively showcase two satellites for our customer Eutelsat: two pieces of European technology at the iconic Kennedy Space Center. The ability of Airbus to field an autonomous European solution is underscored by the transportation of our satellites in the unique Beluga aircraft – a true example of pan-Airbus synergies!”


The loading, Delivery and Deployment of the new Airbus-Built HOTBIRD 13G Satellite - Courtesy Airbus


The milestone delivery also marks the first time an Airbus BelugaST has visited the U.S. since 2019, when it transported the International Space Station European module ‘Tranquility.’ During last weekend’s mission, the BelugaST was powered for its departure flight from Toulouse by 30 percent SAF. With more efficient and power and control systems, once both HOTBIRD satellites reach their orbital position, they will be capable of broadcasting over 1,000 television channels across Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. Additionally, they will enhance Eutelsat’s ability to provide connectivity for more than 135 million, replacing three Eutelsat satellites currently in orbit.



Source: Airbus