Sep 13, 2022
The first satellite to be built under ESA’s Eurostar Neo programme stands ready to be shipped to its launch site.
The satellite – called Eutelsat Hotbird 13F – is one of an identical pair developed by satellite manufacturer Airbus for satellite operator Eutelsat in an ESA Partnership Project designed to foster innovation and competitiveness in the European space industry.
Once launched into geostationary orbit some 36 000 km above Earth, the twin satellites will reinforce and enhance the broadcast of more than a thousand television channels into homes across Europe, Northern Africa and the Middle East, replacing three older satellites.
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The Eurostar Neo satellite has now completed all its on-ground testing, including thermal and mechanical environmental test campaigns and all final integrated system tests. These included a checkout of all on-board systems and deployment of the solar arrays and antennas in the Airbus integration and test facilities in Toulouse, France.
This constitutes a major project milestone because it paves the way for the final customer review and shipment to launch site.
Eutelsat will now complete its internal review process before shipment to the launch site in Florida.
Elodie Viau, Director of Telecommunications and Integrated Applications at ESA, said: “I am proud to see that the first satellite to be developed under the ESA Eurostar Neo Partnership Project with Airbus is ready for shipment to its launch site. ESA works with the European space industry to foster innovation for success in the competitive global market for telecommunications satellites, creating jobs and prosperity in Europe.”
The completion of the first satellite provides an end-to-end validation of the complete Eurostar Neo product line concept, from design to fully tested product.
Seven other Eurostar Neo spacecraft have been sold by Airbus. They are at various stages of design and manufacturing and will all benefit from improvements drawn from this first build.
ESA’s Neosat programme comprises both Eurostar Neo by Airbus and Spacebus Neo by Thales Alenia Space. It includes development up to in-orbit validation of new satellite product lines for both companies, allowing the European space industry to deliver competitive satellites for the global commercial satellite market.
Sixteen Neosat satellites have now been ordered, demonstrating the high economic impact of the ESA’s Partnership Projects, which foster the development of sustainable end-to-end systems up to in-orbit validation.
Neosat is part of ESA’s programme of Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems (ARTES) and is supported by the French space agency, CNES, and the UK Space Agency, as well as 14 other Member States.