Press Release

Call for Media: briefing on SmallGEO

By SpaceRef Editor
December 14, 2016
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A special briefing on SmallGEO, Europe’s versatile small telecom satellite platform, will be held on 18 January, after Director General Jan Woerner’s annual meeting of the press at ESA HQ, Paris.

The SmallGEO platform line offers satellite operators an entirely European solution in the smaller telecom satellite market by speeding up the production and testing processes, reducing costs and broadening the range of design options.

SmallGEO will be launched on its first mission in the early hours of 28 January on a Soyuz rocket from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.

It is carrying a telecommunications payload by Hispasat, which marks the first partnership between ESA and a Spanish operator, and will provide flight heritage for the first product by Germany’s OHB System AG as a prime contractor.

The launch will also be the first time a Soyuz has lifted a telecom satellite of more than three tonnes into geostationary transfer orbit from Kourou.

Named Hispasat 36W-1, it will then take itself into geostationary orbit over 36°W, where it will provide flexible broadband coverage over Europe, the Canary Islands and the Americas.

It will do so through its innovative Redsat regenerative processor, which offers better signal quality and speed by independently allocating up to four, reconfigurable beams at once, adapting the beams’ strength and location according to demand. Hispasat 36W-1 is the first satellite to use the processor.

Future SmallGEO platforms will carry the second node of the EDRS-SpaceDataHighway laser relay and ESA’s pioneering Electra electric propulsion mission.

The briefing will be shared by the Director General, the Director of Telecommunications & Integrated Applications, Magali Vaissiere, the Head of Telecommunications Satellite Programmes, Stéphane Lascar, Carlos Espinós, CEO of Hispasat, Marco Fuchs, CEO of OHB System AG, and Gerd Gruppe, Director of Space Administration at the DLR German Aerospace Center. It will be followed by a 20 minute Q&A session.

Attending the event

The event will take place 11:30-12:30 CET at ESA headquarters:
8 rue Mario Nikis, 75015 Paris, France.

Media representatives wishing to attend are requested to register at

The news conference will be livestreamed at Media and the public may ask questions during the briefing on Twitter using the hashtag #askSmallGEO or by tweeting to @ESA.

About the European Space Agency

The European Space Agency (ESA) provides Europe’s gateway to space.

ESA is an intergovernmental organisation, created in 1975, with the mission to shape the development of Europe’s space capability and ensure that investment in space delivers benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world.
ESA has 22 Member States: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Slovenia is an Associate Member.

ESA has established formal cooperation with six other Member States of the EU. Canada takes part in some ESA programmes under a Cooperation Agreement.

By coordinating the financial and intellectual resources of its members, ESA can undertake programmes and activities far beyond the scope of any single European country. It is working in particular with the EU on implementing the Galileo and Copernicus programmes as well as with EUMETSAT for the development of meteorological missions.

ESA develops the launchers, spacecraft and ground facilities needed to keep Europe at the forefront of global space activities.

Today, it develops and launches satellites for Earth observation, navigation, telecommunications and astronomy, sends probes to the far reaches of the Solar System and cooperates in the human exploration of space. ESA also has a strong applications programme developing services in the Earth observation, navigation and telecommunications domain.

Learn more about ESA at 

For further information, please contact:

ESA Media Relations Office
Tel: +33 1 53 69 72 99
Email: [email protected]


SpaceRef staff editor.