Join us live on 25 July, 2013, to watch Alphasat, Europe’s largest and most sophisticated telecommunications satellite, launch into its planned orbit from Kourou, French Guiana. Streaming starts 15 minutes before lift-off, with the launch window between 19:54 GMT (21:54 CEST) and 21:11 GMT (23:11 CEST).
Alphasat is a large telecommunications satellite primarily designed to expand Inmarsat’s existing global mobile network. It was engineered and built by Astrium through a public–private partnership between ESA and Inmarsat. Along with providing a significant increase in service for Inmarsat’s fleet, it also serves as a first flight for Alphabus, the new European telecom platform developed by Astrium and Thales Alenia Space under a joint contract with ESA and France’s CNES space agency.
Alphasat is also carrying four ESA technology demonstration payloads: an environmental and radiation testing sensor from Efacec (Portugal), the Aldo Paraboni Q/V-band experiment from Thales Alenia Space (Italy) and Space Engineering (Italy), a startracker from Jena-Optronik (Germany) and a laser communication terminal from TESAT (Germany), provided by the DLR German Aerospace Center.