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On 28 November 2014, the precursor European Data Relay System (EDRS) on the Alphasat telecommunications satellite in geostationary orbit linked up by laser with the Sentinel-1A satellite and then transmitted data to Earth. This milestone paves the way for using laser technology in geostationary orbit, 36 000 km high, to receive information from satellites in low orbit around Earth and transmit it immediately to the ground.
The occasion was marked by an event held at ESA’s Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt, Germany. Attendees included Wolfgang Scheremet, Director General of Industrial Policy, German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy; Gerd Gruppe, Member of the DLR Executive Board responsible for Space Administration; Daniel Quintart, from the European Commission DG Enterprise and Industry; Peter Schlote, Tesat Spacecom Managing Director.