The satellite ASTRA 5B lifted off on March 22, 2014 aboard the Ariane 5 ECA rocket from the European Spaceport near Kourou, French Guiana, carrying also a payload for the EGNOS GNSS augmentation system. This successful launch will ensure the replacement of another aging EGNOS satellite payload, providing augmented navigation services over the wider area of Europe for the next 15 years to come.
ASTRA 5B was built by Airbus Defense and Space (formerly EADS Astrium) in Toulouse, France, using a Eurostar E3000 platform. It has a launch mass of 5724 kilograms and a spacecraft power of 13kW with a 15 year design lifetime. The multi-mission satellite will be located at 31.5 degrees East.
EGNOS is owned by the European Commission and was launched in 2009 as part of the European GNSS Programs which also includes the global satellite navigation system Galileo. The European Space Agency designed EGNOS under delegation from the European Commission.
As of January 1st, 2014, EGNOS is operated by ESSP under the newly assigned responsibility of the European GNSS Agency (GSA) based in Prague.