The experimental communications satellite Artemis is to spend its final years operating in orbit with a different owner. The European Space Agency ESA has agreed to sell the Artemis satellite to the London based Avanti Communications firm for a nominal sum so that the firm can use and hold the satellite and its GEO postion of 21.5E. The transaction will be completed by the end of the year. Under the deal ESA will still be able to use Artemis in mid 2014 to providing relay communications to ATV Control Centre in Toulouse, France during the tracking of the final ATV flight. The satellite, which was used for tests on laser communications, also has a communications payload of Ka, Ku and L-band transponders and is expected to work for about two more years. A more detailed description of the transaction is available on Space News.
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