Tue. Sep 26th, 2023
The Launch of Spain’s First Nuclear-Proof Communications Satellite Scheduled for 2024

The CEO of the Spanish strategic services company Hisdesat, Miguel Ángel García Primo, has confirmed that the first Spanish communications satellite capable of surviving the effects of a nuclear explosion will be launched in September 2024. The satellite, known as Spainsat NG I, has special shielding and components that prevent degradation in the event of an atomic explosion in the atmosphere.

The Spainsat NG I satellite, weighing 6.1 tonnes and with a useful life of 15 years, will be launched by Elon Musk’s SpaceX company using the Falcon 9 vector. The launch will take place at Cape Canaveral in Florida, one of two possible sites assigned to SpaceX by the federal administration for its commercial and institutional flights.

The specific launch site for the Falcon 9 carrying Spainsat NG I is yet to be determined. The satellite has been developed in collaboration with Airbus France and Thales Alenia Space France, with the flight model nearing completion in Toulouse. The communications module of the satellite, weighing 2 tonnes and measuring 6 meters in length, arrived in Toulouse in June. The module integrates technologies provided by Spanish companies GMV, Indra, Sener, and Tecnobit.

The Spainsat NG I satellite is part of a larger program that includes two twin satellites and a ground control and monitoring component. The program aims to enhance secure communications for high-level state authorities and commanders of the Spanish Armed Forces. The satellites will provide connectivity in the X, military Ka, and UHF bands, incorporating advanced technologies, anti-jamming capabilities, and protection against spoofing attempts.

The upcoming launch of Spainsat NG I marks a significant milestone for Spain’s space industry and reinforces the country’s commitment to advanced satellite technology in the field of security and defense. With the development of the second satellite, Spainsat NG II, underway and scheduled for completion at the end of this year, Spain is poised to further enhance its capabilities in secure communications in the coming years.