ARTEMIS SET FOR SUMMER LAUNCH
Telecoms satellite Artemis, developed by the European Space Agency (ESA), has been chalked in for a launch on an Ariane 5 launcher “sometime between June and August 2001”.
The launch contract was signed at ESA’s Paris headquarters by Jean-Marie Luton, CEO of Arianespace, and Antonio Rodota, director general of ESA.
Weighing 3,100kg, Artemis will be positioned over the equator over central Africa at the 21.5 degrees East slot, and has a life span of 10 years. It will provide mobile communications and navigation services, as well as data relay capacity (satellite-to-satellite communication).
The spacecraft will be a vital element of Europe’s EGNOS satellite navigation system and broadcast GPS-like signals. EGNOS will be finished in 2003 and start operations in 2004.