Countdown continues for ESA's Artemis satellite
ESA PR 41-2001. Follow the launch from various ESA establishments and on the ESA website! Only a few days remain before an Ariane 5 launches Artemis, ESA's advanced telecommunication satellite, into orbit. Final preparations at Europe's spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, are progressing smoothly for a launch on 12 July, with a 93-minute launch window starting at 18:58 Kourou time (23:58 CEST).
Artemis, built under the prime contractorship of Alenia Spazio, Italy, will test and operate new telecommunication technologies in satellite navigation, mobile communication services and inter-satellite data relay. The spacecraft is designed for voice and data communications between mobile terminals (mainly for cars, trucks and trains of boats), broadcasting accurate navigation information as an element of Europe's EGNOS and sending high-speed data communications directly between satellites.
Media representatives in Europe can follow the launch from ESA/ESRIN in Frascati (Italy), acting as the main European press centre, ESA/ESTEC in Noordwijk (the Netherlands), ESA/ESOC in Darmstadt (Germany), ESA/VILSPA in Villafranca, Madrid (Spain), and Arianespace in Evry (France). At each site the live transmission of the launch can be followed and ESA specialists will be available for interviews.
Doors open at 23:00 and the event will end around 01 :00 (live videotransmission from 23:38 to 00:50). Media representatives wishing to attend are requested to complete the reply form (link at right of page) and fax it back to the Communication Office at the ESA establishment of their choice.
For broadcasters the transmission of video material is planned as follows :
- Wednesday 11 July, 11:00 GMT/13:00 CEST: Artemis launch Video News Release with 15 minutes of pre-launch background footage
- Thursday 12 July, 14:00 GMT (TBC): Images of final Artemis launch preparations in Kourou, and roll-out of Ariane 5 to launch pad.
- Friday 13 July, 04:30 GMT and 06:00 GMT : Artemis launch highlights with images from Kourou and the Artemis control centre in Fucino, Italy.
All transmissions will be on Eutelsat W1, transponder B5, horizontal, digital channel 1 (MPEG-2, 4:2:0), 11.144 MHz, 5.632 MS/sec, FEC ¾. Before downlinking, check http://television.esa.int for any last-minute changes. The launch highlights will be replayed, on 13 July, by Europe by Satellite. For further details, see :
Follow the progress of the launch campaign, and watch the launch live at :
The launch video streaming will start at 23:30. Video highlights will be available on request for a few days afterwards.