LaunchesQuantumAriane 5 ECAAriane 5 Launches

Eutelsat Quantum on the launch pad

Credits: ESA - S. Corvaja

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Ariane 5 flight VA254 with the Eutelsat Quantum and Star One D2 satellites is now on the launch par of the ELA-3 (Ensemble de Lancement Ariane) Ariane 5 launch complex, at Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana on 29 July 2021. Quantum, the ESA Partnership Project with Eutelsat, Airbus and Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd, is a pioneering mission preparing the way for the next generation of telecommunications satellites, which will be more flexible by design and so more adaptable to customer needs once in orbit. Quantum is a shift from custom-designed satellite with one-off payloads to a more generic approach, resulting in unprecedented in-orbit reconfigurability in coverage, frequency and power, allowing complete mission rehaul, including orbital position. ESA partnered with satellite operator Eutelsat and manufacturer Airbus to design this programme, in response to today's market requiring satellites to be able to respond to changes in geographical or performance demand, either during manufacturing or after launch. This will enable the operator to address emerging business opportunities — even those that appear after it has ordered a satellite. Such ESA Partnership Projects maximise the benefits to industry thanks to an efficient, co-managed approach that is tailored to commercial best practice.

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