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N° 56–2000: Artemis, Europe's latest communication satellite, on show at ESTEC

8 September 2000

ESA's advanced communication satellite, Artemis, is ready to be shipped to Tanegashima space centre in Japan for its launch by a Japanese H2A rocket on 1 February next year. Before leaving Europe, it will undergo a final series of functional checkout tests at ESTEC, ESA's space research and technology centre in Noordwijk, the Netherlands. ESA invites the media on Tuesday 26 September to a background briefing on this challenging project at which they have the opportunity to see the state-of-the-art spacecraft in the cleanrooms.

Artemis is not the conventional type of communication satellite. In particular it differs in one very important aspect: none of its payloads connects a fixed point on the Earth with other fixed points on the Earth. Instead:

In addition to these many novel communication services Artemis will provide European industry with opportunities to gain in-orbit experience with advanced technologies. The most prominent of these is the ion propulsion system. Its very high power-to-mass ratio helps to reduce launch cost and increase satellite lifetime.

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