Bremen / Kourou, 7 July 2023 - Tonight at midnight CEST, the last Ariane 5 rocket (VA261) lifted off from the European launch site Kourou in French Guyana. Together with the French communication satellite Syracuse-4B, the German technology demonstrator and communication satellite Heinrich Hertz was launched. For the Heinrich Hertz mission, OHB holds overall responsibility for the development and construction of the satellite as well as for the procurement and coordination of the launch segment. In addition, OHB is realising the set-up of the ground segment at the control centre in Bonn. The mission is managed by the German Space Agency at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Bonn on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection (BMWK) and with the participation of the Federal Ministry of Defence (BMVg).
"Watching our satellite lift off into space on the last Ariane 5 was a special moment. My thanks go to everyone at OHB and to our partners who have worked so hard on the mission and the launcher over the years. I am very proud and happy that we have contributed not only to realising the scientific and technical part of the Heinrich Hertz mission but also to producing the appropriate satellite for secure communication purposes. This mission once again demonstrates the capabilities of OHB as large systems integrator to implement complex telecommunication systems," says OHB CEO Marco Fuchs.
Once the satellite has entered service in space, it will remain in geostationary orbit at an altitude of 36,000 kilometres for around 15 years. One goal of the Heinrich Hertz mission is to test new satellite communication technologies for their suitability for space.
The Heinrich-Hertz-Mission and its Partners
The Heinrich Hertz mission is the first launch of a dedicated German communications satellite for researching and testing new technologies and communications scenarios. The mission thus contributes to the further development of the German Information Society. The Heinrich Hertz mission is led by the German Space Agency at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Bonn on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection (BMWK) and with the participation of the Federal Ministry of Defence (BMVg). OHB-System AG was commissioned with the development and construction of the satellite. The companies IABG GmbH, MDA AG and TESAT GmbH & Co. KG are also involved in the development and testing of the satellite. The ground segment is under the responsibility of OHB Digital connect in cooperation with the company CGI, in this thereby the satellite control centre was realized in Bonn. The locations for the new ground stations are in Hürth (North-Rhine Westphalia) und Neustrelitz (Mecklenburg-West Pommerania). Arianespace is responsible for mission launch on board the Ariane carrier rocket (VA261). Another 36 partners are involved in the mission - 14 of them on the scientific payload.