From sea to space: the journey begins to bring connectivity for Africa and Europe
Cannes, October 14, 2019 – Thales Alenia Space, the joint company between Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33%), announced today the arrival of the first shipping container designed for the new family of communications satellites based on the Spacebus NEO platform. This delivery marks a new milestone in the European Space Agency’s NEOSAT development program. Built by the Italian company Garofoli, based in Terni, the container was shipped by barge and was delivered today at the port of Cannes. It will be conveyed to Thales Alenia Space plant on October 15 early morning.
This new shipping container measures an impressive 14 x 5.4 x 4.2 meters and weighs 23 metric tons empty, or 30 to 37 metric tons with a satellite. It will be used for the first time on Eutelsat’s Konnect satellite, to be shipped to the launch site in the near future. Konnect will provide significant additional broadband connectivity for Africa and Europe.
The satellite in its container will be transported from the Thales Alenia Space plant to the Nice airport, where it will be loaded on a huge Antonov ANT 124 cargo plane. After a flight lasting about 15 hours, the satellite will then be transported from the Félix Eboué airport to the Guiana Space Center, Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, to start its launch campaign.
The transportation of this new type of container called on extensive resources in the region, to ensure that all infrastructures needed were ready for its passage. Both Government and other staff made major contributions in Cannes, Cannes la Bocca and Nice, in particular to ensure road and roundabout access for this “extra-wide” load from the plant in Cannes to the Nice airport.
Photos: © Thales Alenia Space
About Thales Alenia Space
Drawing on over 40 years of experience and a unique combination of skills, expertise and cultures, Thales Alenia Space delivers cost-effective solutions for telecommunications, navigation, Earth observation, environmental management, exploration, science and orbital infrastructures. Governments and private industry alike count on Thales Alenia Space to design satellite-based systems that provide anytime, anywhere connections and positioning, monitor our planet, enhance management of its resources, and explore our Solar System and beyond. Thales Alenia Space sees space as a new horizon, helping to build a better, more sustainable life on Earth. A joint venture between Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33%), Thales Alenia Space also teams up with Telespazio to form the parent companies’ Space Alliance, which offers a complete range of services. Thales Alenia Space posted consolidated revenues of about 2.5 billion euros in 2018 and has around 8,000 employees in nine countries. www.thalesaleniaspace.com
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