It’s all systems go as Artemis, ESA’s new telecommunication satellite,
undergoes final preparations before being rolled out to the launch pad on
Wednesday (11 July) as upper passenger atop an Ariane 5 in Kourou, French

The last few days have been buzzing with activity as the new satellite,
which will help change the future of world-wide communication, navigation
and space-based satellite links, is prepared for launch this Thursday

Arianespace engineers worked around the clock to fuel the launcher with its
hydrazene and oxidizer fuels. The pyrotechnics on the launcher as well as
on Artemis and the Japanese direct broadcasting satellite BSAT-2b (the
lower co-passenger) have all been armed and the fairing doors closed ready
for lift-off.

Teams of personnel at the launch site and the operation control centre in
Fucino, Italy, are currently linking up with all other ground stations in a
realistic simulation of the launch countdown. This final validation of all
procedures is essential before the real event on Thursday evening.

The Ariane 5 will be moved out to the launch pad on Wednesday ready for an
early evening launch the following day (18:58 local time, 21:58 GMT, 23:58
Europe). Hundreds of ESA personnel, scientists, project managers and media
representatives are waiting in anticipation and will either watch the launch
live from Kourou or via live video coverage from locations around Europe.

Many years of work have gone into the creation of Artemis — a satellite
which will demonstrate new innovative propulsion and data relay technologies
as well as enhance mobile communication and navigation systems globally.

“The build up to such an event is an exciting time for all involved. With
the advances Artemis incorporates in its data relay payload we are looking
forward to the benefits this will bring to inter-space communication and
Earth observation activities,” said ESA’s Artemis Project Manager Mr.
Gotthard Oppenhauser.

“As for mobile and navigational systems, Artemis will promote new advances
that will have a profound and positive effect on areas currently limited in
coverage and accessibility,” he added.

Related News

* 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

* Telecom homepage

* Artemis homepage


[Image 1:]
Artemis communicating with a low orbit satellite.

[Image 2:]
Control room at the Spatial Centre credits: ESA/Alenia Spazio/Telespazio.

[Image 3:]
Kourou base.