Press Release Nr. 56-2000
Paris, France
Artemis, Europe’s latest communication satellite, on show at ESTEC
ESA’s advanced communication satellite, Artemis, is ready to be shipped to Tanegashima space centre in Japan for its launch by a Japanese H2A rocket on 1 February next year. Before leaving Europe, it will undergo a final series of functional checkout tests at ESTEC, ESA’s space research and technology centre in Noordwijk, the Netherlands. ESA invites the media on Tuesday 26 September to a background briefing on this
challenging project at which they have the opportunity to see the state-of-the-art spacecraft in the cleanrooms.
Artemis is not the conventional type of communication satellite. In particular it differs in one very important aspect: none of its payloads connects a fixed point on the Earth with other fixed points on the Earth. Instead:
* Artemis will connect users on the ground with satellites in orbit via   its radio frequency data relay payload. This dramatically increases   communication time with spacecraft in low-Earth orbit. For instance,   a scientist anywhere in Europe will be able, via Artemis, to monitor   the status of an experiment on the International Space Station in real   time and actively intervene.
  This payload will also enable ESA’s next Earth observation satellite,   Envisat, slated for launch in 2001 as well, to transmit its instrument   data to the ground in real time.
* Via its optical data relay payload, SILEX, Artemis can receive and   re-transmit in real time images taken by Earth observation satellites   such as the French SPOT-4. Data communication between satellites   using an optical link (laser pulses) is a novelty in space and offers   great advantages over conventional radio frequency systems.
* With Artemis, a mobile user will be able to link up from anywhere in   Europe, North Africa or the Middle East to any fixed user in the same   area at very competitive prices. Large ocean areas are included in   Artemis’ coverage zone, allowing voice or data connections to land   from the Mediterranean, the North Sea or the eastern part of the   Atlantic Ocean.
* The navigation payload will enable users to determine their position   with higher accuracy and 24-hour availability. Artemis will add   corrections and health checks to the existing GPS signals, thus   supporting the first phase of Galileo, Europe’s new navigation   programme.
In addition to these many novel communication services Artemis will provide European industry with opportunities to gain in-orbit experience with advanced technologies. The most prominent of these is the ion propulsion system. Its very high power-to-mass ratio helps to reduce launch cost and increase satellite lifetime.
            Programme for the Artemis media briefing
                  Date: 26 September 2000
                    Time: 9:00 – 14:30
                    Place: ESA/ESTEC
            Keplerlaan 1 – Noordwijk, the Netherlands
09:00  Arrival
09:30  Welcome and video introduction
09:50  Overview of ESA’s telecommunication programme
10:15  The ARTEMIS utilisation programme
10:45  The Artemis satellite and the industrial consortium
11:15  Questions and Answers
11:45  Transfer to the Test Centre
12:00  Visit of the flight model of Artemis in the Test Centre; photo       opportunities
13:00  Buffet lunch, opportunities for individual interviews
14.30  End of event
Media representatives wishing to attend are kindly requested to complete the attached accreditation form and fax it back to: [NOTE: Not attached – A.Y.]
Heidi Graf
ESA/ESTEC Communication Office
Tel. + 31 71 565 3006
Fax. + 31 71 565 5728