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Artemis was to be an European (ESA) geosynchronous communications spacecraft that was launched by an Ariane 5 rocket from Kourou at 23:58 UT on 12 July 2001. A propulsion problem is the final stage resulted in the 3.1 tonne (with fuel), 2.5 kW spacecraft ending up in a much lower orbit. It however carries two engines and adequate fuel that if ignited could elevate the orbit significantly, probably to the geosynchronous altitude. If that succeeds, it will provide voice and data communications between mobile phones in Europe and North America, and act as a relaying satellite between low-Earth orbiters and ground stations. Eventually, as part of the planned EGNOS system (to be operational by about 2010) it will provide navigation/location determination like the GPS and GLONASS fleet do.

Alternate Names

  • 26863

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 2001-07-12
Launch Vehicle: Ariane 5
Launch Site: Kourou, French Guiana

Funding Agency

  • European Space Agency (International)


  • Communications

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this spacecraft can be directed to: Coordinated Request and User Support Office

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