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SES selects Arianespace to launch EAGLE-1 satellite

EAGLE-1 infographic. Credit: ESA

Edinburgh / Paris / Luxembourg, 9 November 2022. – Global satellite operator SES, chose to launch its EAGLE-1 satellite, which will support the end-to-end secure Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) system for Europe, by commercial launch service provider Arianespace, the company said. EAGLE-1 is planned to be launched on a Vega C rocket as early as Q4 2024. 

The EAGLE-1 project is developed by SES in cooperation with a consortium of 20 European partners. The European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Commission are also in support of the initiative. The satellite-based end-to-end QKD system will be used to test and validate the secure transmission of cryptographic keys.

The EAGLE-1 spacecraft is set to complete three years in orbit allowing European Union governments and institutions early access to long-distance QKD. The mission will open the door to an EU constellation capable of ultra-secure data transmissions.

EAGLE-1 is co-funded by the ESA contribution of Germany, Luxembourg, Austria, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium, and the Czech Republic under the ARTES program. Meanwhile, the European Commission contributes to the project through the Horizon Europe funding program.

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