Spaceflight Insider

Luxembourg’s GovSat-1 satellite goes operational

GovSat-1 in the clean room. Photo Credit: Orbital ATK

GovSat-1 in the clean room. Photo Credit: Orbital ATK

Launched on Jan. 31, 2018, the flight of the GovSat-1 got its start atop a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40 in Florida. The spacecraft has come online and could aid in security efforts for the tiny European nation – as well as provide other services.

Since being sent aloft, the satellite has undergone extensive testing and is the first spacecraft under the public-private partnership between the Government of Luxembourg and satellite operator SES – known as GovSat-1.

“GovSat-1 is a real game-changer when it comes to providing secure satellite communications to governments and institutions. The satellite’s X-band capacity is the most powerful and flexible available,” said Patrick Biewer, Chief Executive Officer of GovSat. “GovSat-1 via an SES-issued release. “Coupled with our Secure Mission Operations Centre, forms one of the most reliable, cost efficient and secure satellite communications capabilities on the market, and we are delighted to announce that it has entered into operational service.”

GovSat-1 entered into service on Monday, March 19 and, if everything continues to go to plan, will: “…provide secure communications to governmental and institutional users.”


Photo Credit: GovSat

The satellite will now be operated by GovSat from the Secure Mission Operations Centre located in Luxembourg. GovSat-1 utilizes frequencies in the X-band and military Ka-band. It has been fielded to provide applications such as: “…connectivity for theaters of operation, interconnection of institutional or defence sites, border control, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR), as well as various types of communications on the move for land and maritime missions.”

“I would like to thank all the members of the GovSat team for their hard work and commitment to bring the GovSat-1 spacecraft into operational service. This was the next major step in our public-private partnership with SES. GovSat-1 will further enhance Luxembourg’s excellent reputation in the global satellite communications market. The satellite will enable Luxembourg to meet its expanding obligations in European defence and to further diversify the national economy in a key technology sector,” Étienne Schneider, Luxembourg Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of the Economy and Minister of Defence said via a company-issued release.

The GovSat-1 comes equipped with high-powered fully-steerable spot beams, an X-band Global beam and a some sixty-eight transponder equivalent units.

It present location is t the 21.5 degrees East orbital slot. From this vantage point, the satellite can provide its services to Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, as well as providing extensive maritime coverage over the Mediterranean and Baltic seas, and the Atlantic and Indian oceans (according to a statement issued by SES).






Jason Rhian spent several years honing his skills with internships at NASA, the National Space Society and other organizations. He has provided content for outlets such as: Aviation Week & Space Technology,, The Mars Society and Universe Today.

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