Eurostar Neo satellite takes ‘selfies’ in geostationary orbit

The second Eurostar Neo spacecraft (Hotbird 13G), developed by Airbus Defense and Space in the frame of ESA’s Neosat Partnership Project, has arrived on-station and taken some ‘selfies’.

The second Eurostar Neo spacecraft – Eutelsat Hotbird 13G – has completed its planned electric orbit raising and reached its on-station position in Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO), some 36,000 km above the Earth.

Once on-station the spacecraft used its onboard cameras, mounted on the propulsion deployable arms, to take some ‘selfies’. These are the first colour images taken by a European spacecraft in geostationary orbit.

The camera used was developed by Micro-Cameras & Space Exploration (MCSE) in Switzerland and flown on the Hotbird 13G spacecraft as a hosted payload under the ARTES Neosat Partnership Project.

ESA’s Neosat Partnership Project comprises both Spacebus Neo by Thales Alenia Space and Eurostar Neo by Airbus. 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 European Space Agency (ESA)’s Partnership Projects, which also foster the development of sustainable end-to-end systems up to in-orbit validation.

Neosat is part of ESA’s Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems (ARTES) programme and is based on cooperation between ESA and CNES, with support from national agencies, including the UK Space Agency (UKSA).

Published 02 May 2023
Last updated at 12 December 2023 - 12:03