The Zenit-3SL rocket carrying the EUTELSAT 3B spacecraft lifted off at 14:09:59 Pacific Daylight Time (PDT) on Monday, May 26th (21:09:59 UTC, 23:09:59 CEST) from the launch platform, positioned at 154 degrees West longitude in the Pacific Ocean. One hour later, the Block DM-SL upper stage inserted the satellite, weighing 5,967 kilograms (13,155 lbs.) into geosynchronous transfer orbit, on its way to a final orbital position at 3 degrees East longitude. Eutelsat acquired the spacecraft’s first signals from orbit shortly after spacecraft separation. All systems performed nominally throughout the launch mission.
Airbus Defence and Space has built the EUTELSAT 3B tri-band satellite, which will increase and diversify its resources for markets in Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia and South America. The EUTELSAT 3B satellite will be based on the Astrium Eurostar 3000 platform. The spacecraft will be located at Eutelsat's 3 degrees East orbital slot.
Sea Launch will insert the EUTELSAT 3B spacecraft into an optimized GTO orbit.