Norway launches new satellite

earthThor 6, the latest satellite from the Norwegian Telenor Satellite Broadcasting (TSBc), has been successfully released into orbit from its launch site at the French Guiana Spaceport of Kourou. The new satellite will take over from its ancestor Thor III which will be retired in 2010.

Thor 6 was built by Thales Alenia Space and will deliver service over the Nordic and Central European region. The satellite will offer high powered direct-to-home (DTH) services for television from its one degree west orbital location, reports The Norway Post.

“The launch of THOR 6 will further strengthen TSBc’s position in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) providing much needed expansion capacity to 1 degree west, which already services over 15 million TV households throughout the Nordics and CEE region,” said TSBc’s CEO and Vice President Cato Halsaa.

Thor 6 was sent skywards at exactly 17.00 on the 29th of October by the Ariane 5 rocket launcher and broadcasted live during the 31 minute mission.

Thor 6 will be based upon the Thales Alenia Space Spacebus 4000B2 platform which will carry its 3,000kg weight. Thor 6 contains 36 Ku-band transponders, bringing to 71 the number of transponders on the at the 1 degree west location which have the ability to offer significant growth to TCBc.”It will also provide additional capacity in the Nordic region, where we continue to see a growth in HDTV requirements,” claimed Halsaa.

Thor 6 cost around NOK 1.3 billion and has an estimated life expectancy of 15 years.

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