Europe is set to launch a vital technology spacecraft this week in what officials hope will be the first in a long line of telecom demonstration missions intended to reinforce European satcom know-how. The $850-million Artemis mission is due to lift off July 12 on an Ariane 5 from Kourou, French Guiana, in tandem with Japan's BSAT-2b direct broadcasting satellite. After three firings of its on-board liquid apogee engine, controlled from the Artemis center in Fucino, Italy, the ...

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