UK: The European Space Agency (ESA) is considering launching a third data-relay satellite to expand data-relay service, GlobeNet, reported Space News. GlobeNet would provide a third platform in geostationary orbit to speed the flow of data from unmanned aerial vehicles and earth observation satellites to users. According to the report, ESA is looking for an industrial partner for the satellite launch.
Magali Vaissiere said the data-relay proposal, tentatively budgeted at EUR 200 million (USD 250 million) plus the industrial contribution, is part of a 1.6-billion-euro telecommunications package she hopes to submit in November to ESA government ministers.
The satellite likely would be owned by Astrium Services of Europe, which is already managing ESA’s European Data Relay Satellite Service (EDRS).
EDRS has two data-relay platforms in development. The first is a payload to be launched aboard the Eutelsat 9B commercial telecommunications satellite in 2014 and operated from 9 degrees east. Astrium Services, whose sister company, Astrium Satellites, is building Eutelsat 9B, has already contracted with Eutelsat for the service.
The second EDRS is a full satellite, under construction by OHB AG of Germany, which would carry a data-relay terminal and be operated from an orbital position secured by Avanti Communications of London, a company that is developing a satellite broadband business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Source: Space News