Ground controllers are evaluating possibilities to recover the mission of the
Artemis telecommunications satellite, one of two spacecraft launched by a
European Ariane 5 vehicle on Thursday, 12 July 2001 at 18:58 local time in
Kourou, French Guiana, 23:58 (CEST), but that was left stranded in a lower
than expected orbit due to a malfunction in the upper stage of the Ariane 5

Analysis of the situation is continuing as the spacecraft has been put into
a safe sun-pointing condition by ground controllers. The solar panels were
partially deployed during the night and are powering the satellite correctly,
as planned for the nominal mission. The satellite is fully under control and
is being monitored via different ground stations all over the world. Artemis
can remain in this safe condition for as long as it is needed to allow ground
controllers to evaluate the best way to rescue the mission.

“Our ground controllers were ready for such an eventuality,” said Gotthard
Oppenh‰user, ESA Artemis Project Manager, speaking from the launch site in
Kourou. “The team is well practised in reacting to all sorts of potential
problems and we are confident that a good technical solution to the problem
will be eventually found.

Thanks to the availability of the ion propulsion system for positionñkeeping
manoeuvres, most of the chemical fuel on board the satellite can be used to
raise its orbit to the right altitude. Experts are working out a strategy to
make the best use of the available fuel”.

The multi-purpose Artemis satellite — the precursor to new and advanced
satellite communication services — is the most advanced telecommunications
satellite yet developed by ESA.

A press conference is scheduled to be held in Kourou on Friday, 13 July at
10:00 Kourou time, 15:00 CEST.

For further information, please contact:

ESA Communication Department

Media Relations Office at GSG Kourou-French Guyana

Tel: 00 594 594 33 49 10

Related News

* French version of this article

* All systems go for launch

* Keeping cool in a crisis – Artemis launch rehearsals

* ESA’s Artemis telecommunications satellite to be launched in July

Related Links

* Artemis launch page

* Arianespace

* Telecom homepage