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Alphasat - the largest European telecom satellite ever built

Credit: ESA

Alphasat, Europe’s largest and most sophisticated telecommunications satellite, was launched into its planned orbit on 25 July 2013 from Kourou, French Guiana.

Overview

Alphasat, Europe’s largest and most sophisticated telecommunications satellite, was launched into its planned orbit on 25 July 2013 from Kourou, French Guiana.

Impact

Alphasat represents many firsts. At nearly 7 tonnes and involving more than a dozen space companies and agencies from all over Europe, it was the most ambitious public-private partnership ever undertaken in the sector and by ESA. Alphasat was not only bursting with technological innovation but also paved the way for future partnerships between ESA and industry which serve to set the bar for space technology ever higher.

Alphasat is owned by British mobile communications giant Inmarsat and is operating perfectly in orbit now, extending their coverage and improving in particular their maritime and aviation safety services. The telecom satellite is also serving in other ways, however, as it is also providing flight experience to four technology demonstration payloads – each of which is trialling new and exciting space technologies for the future.

Collaborators

ESA, Inmarsat, Airbus, Thales Alenia Space, UK Space Agency, CNES (French space agency), DLR (German space agency), ASI (Italian space agency), many more

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Facility Contact

European Space Agency (ESA) ECSAT
Tel.: +44 1235 444 221
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UK Space Agency
Tel.: +44 (0)20 7215 5000
Visit website