Astra 1KR is one of the Astra geostationary satellites owned by SES. It was launched in April 2006 as a replacement for Astra 1K, which failed to reach orbit on launch in 2002. The launch of Astra 1KR was the first attempted by SES since the Astra 1K failure.
The craft launched to 3.4° east for testing, before moving to Astra 19.2°E, where it replaced Astra 1B, which was effectively decommissioned, and Astra 1C, which was then elderly and running beneath full capacity. It was expected to also replace Astra 2C, which was under-utilised, and to allow that satellite to returned to Astra 28.2°E to join 2A/2B/2D to provide additional capacity. However, SES stated that Astra 1L would replace Astra 2C.
The first signals from the craft at 19.2° east were direct replacements for four transponders on the failing Astra 1E.
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