Paris – Launched by an Ariane 5 rocket, the EUTELSAT 172B satellite entered a new phase of its journey in space with the initiation of the ascent to geostationary orbit. The first European high power electric satellite, built by Airbus, will take approximately four months to complete the climb to 172° East, monitored by Eutelsat and Airbus from Toulouse using a dedicated network of stations located around the planet. Eutelsat’s new satellite is scheduled to enter into service in the fourth quarter of this year.

Since launch, EUTELSAT 172B has undergone a series of critical manoeuvres that include positioning of electric propulsion motors attached to robotic arms in preparation for orbit-raising, and the full deployment of solar panels to generate power during this phase.