The first Centaur upper stage burn placed the stack into a 167 km x 22442 km x 24.8 deg transfer orbit. After a second burn the Centaur released the satellite into a 6470 km x 36240 km x 23.8 deg orbit, from which it would use its own engine to achieve final geosynchronous orbit. As of 2007 Mar 10 located at 19.18E drifting at 0.022W degrees per day.
Astra 1L provided direct-to-home broadcast services to Europe from its location at 19.2º East. It also strengthened the SES in-orbit backup system, extended fleet coverage from the Canary Islands eastwards up to the Russian border, and allowed Astra 2C to be moved from 19.2º East to 28.2º to fulfill high capacity demand from the U.K. and Ireland. Astra 1L was equipped with 29 Ku + 2 Ka active transponders, which would be reduced to 27 active transponders after its first five years of operation.
ASTRA 1M was positioned at Astra's prime 19.2 deg E position, providing pan-European coverage for Direct-to-Home services. Its entry into service would have allowed Astra to redeploy other satellites to its orbital position of 23.5° east. Total power consumption: 9.3 kW BOL, 8.3 kW EOL; Transponder capacity: 36/32 at 26 and 33 MHz; TWTA output power: 150 W; Channel capacity in10.7 - 12.75 GHz: 72 channels (bands D, B, E and F) .
The satellite hosted an Intelsat C- and Ku-band commercial communications payload and a UHF communications payload for the Australian Defense Forces. First Proton launch to use a supersynchronous orbit to maximize use of booster propellant and conserve spacecraft fuel.