The German radar satellite will provide Earth observation data in unparalleled quality
Friedrichshafen/Bonn, 1. June 2007 – The German radar satellite TerraSAR-X is to be launched on 15. June at 04:14 (CEST) from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The launch of the satellite has been postponed a number of times due to technical problems with the Russian Dnjepr launch vehicle. However, teams of engineers from Europe’s leading space company Astrium and the German Aerospace Center DLR are now in Kazakhstan, preparing the 1.3-metric-ton satellite for lift-off.
TerraSAR-X is the first German satellite to be realised within the scope of a public-private partnership (PPP) between DLR and Astrium: Europe’s leading satellite specialist, Astrium, is sharing the costs of the development, construction and deployment of the satellite. The scientific use of the TerraSAR-X data is the responsibility of DLR, as is the mission planning and operation of the satellite, whilst Infoterra GmbH, a subsidiary of Astrium specifically established for this purpose, will be responsible for the commercial exploitation of the satellite data.
With its active antenna, the satellite will record new high-quality X-band radar images of the entire planet whilst circling Earth in a polar orbit at an altitude of 514 kilometres. TerraSAR-X will carry out its task for five years, independently of weather conditions, cloud cover or daylight, and will be able to provide radar images with a resolution as high as one metre.
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Astrium, a wholly owned subsidiary of EADS, is dedicated to providing civil and defence space systems and services. In 2006, Astrium had a turnover of �3.2 billion and 11,000 employees in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain and the Netherlands. Its three main areas of activity are: the business units Astrium Space Transportation for launchers and orbital infrastructure, and Astrium Satellites for spacecraft and ground segment, and its wholly owned subsidiary Astrium Services for the development and delivery of satellite services.
EADS is a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2006, EADS generated revenues of �39.4 billion and employed a workforce of more than 116, 000.
Infoterra GmbH, Germany, was founded in 2007 for the commercial exploitation of the TerraSAR-X data. The company is responsible not only for the commercial distribution of the data, but for the development and marketing of derived geo-information products and services as well. Infoterra GmbH employs a workforce of 30 in Friedrichshafen, Germany, and is part of the Infoterra Group, which comprises companies in France, Germany and the United Kingdom with over 300 employees and a turnover of more than 50 Mio Euro.
DLR is the national aerospace research center of the Federal Republic of Germany. Its extensive research and development activities in the aerospace, transportation and energy sectors are embedded in national and international cooperation ventures. In addition to its own in-house research, the DLR, acting as the Space Agency of the Federal Government, is responsible for planning and implementing Germany's astronautical activities as well as for representing the country's interests on the international plane. Furthermore, DLR is the apex organization for Germany's largest project management agency. DLR employs a staff of about 5,100 at its 27 institutes and facilities distributed over eight locations, namely Köln-Porz, Berlin-Adlershof, Bonn-Oberkassel, Braunschweig, Göttingen, Lampoldshausen, Oberpfaffenhofen and Stuttgart. It maintains branch offices at Brussels, Paris, and Washington, DC.
Mathias Pikelj +49 (0) 7545 8 9123
Mareike Doepke +49 (0) 7545 8 3924
Dr. Niklas Reinke, + 49 (0) 228 447 394