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SATELLITE LUXEMBOURG – GOVSAT-1 LAUNCH SUCCESS

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keywords: govsat-1 satellite, secure telecommunications, space strategy, luxembourg.

It is done. Luxembourg’s GovSat 1 satellite for highly secure communications to governments and armies is in orbit. The news confirmed by the actors of this success that are SpaceX the US company responsible for the launch and the Luxembourgish SES world leader in satellite construction and 50% partner in GovSat, a rain of congratulations fell on the networks first and foremost those of Prime Minister Xavier Bettel and Minister of Defense Etienne Schneider.

GovSat is strengthening the position of Luxembourg as a key player in the space sector and contributing to the diversification of our economy. “(Xavier Bettel, 31 January 2018 from Cape Canaveral, Florida)

This launch, however, did not spare the country in emotions.

While the whole of Luxembourg held its breath yesterday Tuesday with a firing window that opened at 22:23 (Luxembourg time) the news fell like a chopper, the shooting that was to put into orbit the Luxembourg satellite GovSat-1 is pushed back to next day.

Involved, a sensor problem on the second stage of the launcher that has been deemed critical enough not to take risks. Apart from the weather conditions were also mentioned, a strong wind blowing on the US base in Cape Canaveral Florida.

The launch of satellites from the Grand Duchy is not new. With the world leader in the construction of SES satellites on its soil and employing more than 1000 people, the small country has great ambitions in space, whether in the civilian or military fields, the borders between these two areas being now more and more more blurred as the applications and information for one are useful to the other.

It is within this framework that the GovSat-1 project was launched in 2015 with a public-private partnership of the Luxembourg government with SES for the control of a secure communications satellite for governmental and military purposes.

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