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Eutelsat Hotbird 13F passes tech tests

July 8, 2022

The European Space Agency (ESA) says that its first satellite to be built under its Eurostar ‘Neo’ programme has completed mechanical tests designed to demonstrate its ability to withstand the vibration that occurs during launch.

The satellite is being developed by Airbus and will eventually be Eutelsat’s Hotbird 13F when launched but at the moment is being produced by Airbus/ESA under the ESA Partnership Project.

The mechanical tests were conducted by Airbus at its Astrolabe facilities in Toulouse, where this craft – and a sister satellite – earlier underwent thermal vacuum tests designed to demonstrate their ability to withstand the vacuum and extreme temperatures experienced in space. Experts from Airbus, ESA and Eutelsat supervised the tests.

The Eurostar Neo product line is developed in the frame of ESA’s programme of Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems (ARTES) and the French Programme d’Investissement d’Avenir (PIA), in cooperation with space agencies from ESA Member States. It is managed jointly by ESA and the French Space Agency, CNES.

The Neosat programme comprises both Eurostar Neo by Airbus and Spacebus Neo by Thales Alenia Space, and Eutelsat is the first satellite operator to commit to both platforms. The programme includes development up to in-orbit validation of the new satellite product lines for both companies, allowing the European space industry to deliver competitive satellites for the global commercial market.

Eutelsat Hotbird 13F is an ‘all electric’ craft and is set to be launched later this year.

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