Model of Artemis Satellite in original size.
OperatorEuropean Space Agency
COSPAR ID2001-029A Edit this at Wikidata
SATCAT no.26863
Mission duration16 years
Start of mission
Launch date12 July 2001, 21:58 (2001-07-12UTC21:58Z) UTC
RocketAriane 5G V142
Launch siteKourou ELA-3
End of mission
DisposalPlaced in Graveyard orbit
DeactivatedNovember 2017
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGraveyard orbit
RegimeGraveyard orbit

Artemis was a geostationary earth orbit satellite (GEOS) for telecommunications, built by Alenia Spazio for ESA. The Artemis satellite operated at the 21.5E orbital position[1] until 2016, when it was moved to 123E to cover the L-Band spectrum rights for Indonesia's Ministry of Defense.[2]

In November 2017, Artemis was retired and replaced to a graveyard orbit.[3][4]

The mission was planned for many years, with launch initially intended for 1995 and slipping; it was intended for launch on Ariane 5 but at one point there were suggestions that a Japanese H-II rocket might be used.[5]

Launched by an Ariane 5 rocket on 12 July 2001, it originally reached an orbit much lower than planned (590 km x 17487 km) due to a malfunction in the launch vehicle's upper stage.[6] It was remotely reconfigured to reach its intended station by means of a novel procedure.[7] First, over the course of about a week, most of its chemical fuel was used to put it in a 31,000 km circular orbit (by raising first the apogee then the perigee, going via a 590 km x 31000 km orbit). Then, its RIT-10 gridded ion thruster — originally intended for station keeping and for firing a few minutes at a time — was instead kept running for most of 18 months, pushing the spacecraft into an outward spiral trajectory. It gained altitude at the rate of about 15 km per day, until it reached the intended geostationary orbit.[8]

On January 1, 2014, Avanti, a London-based company, took the ownership of the satellite.[9]


The Artemis satellite has several payloads[10]


In November 2001, the world's first laser intersatellite link was achieved in space by the European Space Agency (ESA) satellite Artemis, providing an optical data transmission link with the CNES Earth observation satellite SPOT 4.[16] Achieving 50 Mbps across 40,000 km (25,000 mi), the distance of a LEO-GEO link.[17] Since 2005, ARTEMIS has been relaying two-way optical signals from KIRARI, the Japanese Optical Intersatellite Communications Engineering Test Satellite.[18]

As of 2005, Artemis was used operationally for data relay from ESA's satellites in low Earth orbit; a SILEX link to SPOT-4 was typically established daily.[19] It was also used on a situational basis; for example, it was used in 2008 to relay information from the automated transfer vehicle Jules Verne while mission control at Houston was unavailable due to a hurricane.[20]

It is now considered a precursor for the EDRS programme.[21][22]

Rental Dispute with Indonesia

In November 2017, Artemis was retired into the graveyard orbit after the Indonesian Ministry of Defence failed to pay outstanding rental lease for hiring the satellite to Avanti Communications. The dispute was settled after Avanti won the arbitration case in the London Court Of Arbitration in 2018, when Indonesia was forced to pay $20million.[23][24]


  1. ^ "ARTEMIS Announcement of Opportunity" (PDF). European Space Agency. 19 December 2012. p. 12. Archived from the original (PDF) on 31 December 2013. Retrieved 5 April 2013.
  2. ^ "Indonesia ordered to pay Avanti $20 million for missed satellite lease payments". 8 June 2018.
  3. ^ "Artemis".
  4. ^ "Indonesia ordered to pay Avanti $20 million for missed satellite lease payments". 8 June 2018.
  5. ^ "Japanese H2 may be used as Artemis launcher for Europe". Flight International. July 10, 1996.
  6. ^ "Ariane Launch Report: Ariane 5 failure investigation focuses on upper stage". 2001-07-13.
  7. ^ "Artemis Orbit Raising In-Flight Experience with Ion Propulsion" (PDF). International Electric Propulsion Conference 2003. 2003. Retrieved November 6, 2022.
  8. ^ "Artemis finally reaches operational orbit". ESA. January 31, 2003.
  9. ^ "Contract win for satellite from European Space Agency ("ESA")". 2013-12-16. Archived from the original on 2015-04-16.
  10. ^ "NASA/NSF Panel on SATELLITE COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEMS AND TECHNOLOGY (1993 study) ARTEMIS section". July 1993. Archived from the original on 21 July 2002.
  11. ^ "Another world first for ARTEMIS: a laser link with an aircraft". ESA. 19 December 2006. Archived from the original on 3 September 2009.
  12. ^ "Optical Communications in Space". ESA. August 1997.
  13. ^ "ARTEMIS". eoPortal. May 31, 2012. Retrieved November 6, 2022.
  14. ^ "ESA Navipedia EGNOS Space Segment".
  15. ^ "Artemis Telecommunications Satellite". Aerospace Technology. Retrieved 23 August 2020.
  16. ^ "A world first: Data transmission between European satellites using laser light". 22 November 2001. Retrieved 5 September 2015.
  17. ^ "Optical Communications in Space". ESA. August 1997.
  18. ^ "Another world first for ARTEMIS: a laser link with an aircraft". ESA. 19 December 2006. Archived from the original on 3 September 2009.
  19. ^ "SILEX : More than one thousand successful optical links". ESA. 29 June 2005.[permanent dead link]
  20. ^ "Emergency support for Jules Verne ATV successfully given by Artemis". ESA. 23 September 2008. Archived from the original on 3 September 2009.
  21. ^ "ARTEMIS (Advanced Relay and Technology Mission Satellite)". Retrieved 2023-03-14.
  22. ^ "EDRS (European Data Relay Satellite) Constellation / SpaceDataHighway". eoPortal. Retrieved November 6, 2022.
  23. ^ "Artemis". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 2023-01-05.
  24. ^ "Indonesia Ordered To Pay $20M To UK Satellite Operator - Law360". Retrieved 2023-01-05.