ATHENA-FIDUS satellite launched
Il satellite frutto della cooperazione franco-italiana
Great success for the launch of the French-Italian ATHENA-FIDUS satellite, put into orbit yesterday, February 6th, at 21:30 (CET) from the launch site at Kourou in French Guyana. The result of a unique cooperation at European level between Italy and France, ATHENA-FIDUS (Access Theaters on Allied forces for European nations - French English Dual use Satellite) has been developed by the Italian Space Agency (ASI) and the Centre National d' Etudes Spatiales (CNES) in the framework of cooperation agreements signed by the Space Agencies and Italian and French Ministries of Defence.
With ATHENA-FIDUS it's been accomplished a telecommunications infrastructure capable of ensuring availability and autonomy in circumstances of national emergency. The satellite will supply data services not only for the Italian and French Ministry of Defence but also for the security agencies of both countries (security, national security, police, fire, etc..). In addition, it will complete the capabilities already offered by Syracuse and Sicral.
Thales Alenia Space, the prime contractor of the program on behalf of the French and Italian space agencies CNES and ASI, and on behalf of the French and Italian Ministry of Defense (DGA and Segredifesa) is responsible for the development, construction, testing and delivery in orbit of the satellite. Telespazio, a joint venture between Finmeccanica (67%) and Thales (33%), is involved in the implementation of the ground segment and manage the launch services and launch of the satellite. The launch of the satellite will be managed jointly by the Control Centre Fucino from the site and Thales Alenia Space in Cannes.