Status Report

Artemis mission recovery VNR/ESA TV News of 19 and 20 July

By SpaceRef Editor
July 19, 2001
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ESA has started a mission recovery operation for its Artemis satellite. On 19 and 20 July, the ESA TV Service transmits a Video New Release (VNR) on this story, four times.

The VNR is an A-roll and a B-roll with new graphics on the recovery scenario, images of the Artemis launch, operations in Fucino (Italy), and background footage on the satellite. It carries split audio with an English guide track on the A-roll and clean, international sound on the other track.

The transmission schedule is:

19 July 2001, 18:30-18:45 GMT, Eutelsat W1, XPB5 dig ch 1 20 July 2001, 04:30-04:45 GMT, Eutelsat W1, XPB5 dig ch 2

20 July 2001, 06:00-06:15 GMT, Eutelsat W1, XPB5 dig ch 2

20 July 2001, 11:35-11:50 GMT, Eutelsat W1, XPB5 dig ch 1

For the satellite details, see below

Background Information on the Video News Release:

On Friday 13 July, ESA’s Artemis telecommunications satellite was launched into a lower orbit than intended. The satellite is fully under control with its solar power generator in use as planned. Since the launch, a team of engineers made up of ESA, satellite manufacturer Alenia Spazio and operations contractor Telespazio has been working round the clock to find the best possible recovery scenario.

The aim is to raise the orbit of Aetemis to its intended geostationary position whilst ensuring it remains in operation for as long as possible.

The recovery strategy involves the chemical engine of Artemis being used to increase the satellite’s maximum distance from Earth by an extra 13,500 kilometres, and to make the current elliptical orbit circular. Artemis will remain “parked” in this new orbit for about two months and during this period, the spacecraft commissioning is planned. Then, Artemis will use its ion-propulsion system to spiral upwards to its intended geostationary orbit, 36000 km above the Earth. THis will take several months. The recovery has already started with a successful first engine burn on 18 July at 15:19 GMT. More firings are programmed shortly.

Previously, ESA has managed to successfully rescue several missions despite mishaps early in orbit. For example in 1989, ESA recovered the mission of its Hipparcos satellite although it did not reach geostationary orbit. Over the next few days, ESA will be better equipped to assess the prospects of recovering the Artemis mission

Satellite Details:

Eutelsat W1 at 10 degrees East

Transponder B5, horizontal, MPEG-2, SR=5.632 MS/sec, FEC-3/4

Channel 1: 11.134 MHz

Channel 2: 11.014 MHz

A PDF file with the script of the VNR is online on the ESA TV Website under VNR

For further information and a daily update of the transmission schedule, visit our website at For all enquires, contact Claus Habfast, Tel +31 71 565 3838, Fax +31 71 565 6340, e-mail

SpaceRef staff editor.