15:00 GMT +307 December 2019
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    (File) An Ariane 5 rocket lifts off from the French Guiana Space Center

    Greek Hellas Sat 3 Communications Satellite Successfully Launched

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    Greek communications satellite successfully launched from the spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.

    ATHENS (Sputnik) The French Ariane 5 rocket on Thursday successfully orbited a Greek Hellas Sat 3 communications satellite from the spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.

    "The launch of Hellas Sat 3 is an important step for our country. Today should fill the Greeks in whole world with confidence at this crucial time for our country," Greek telecommunications and digital policy minister Nikos Pappas, who was present at the launch, told Greek-language ERT channel.

    He added with the satellite launch Greece had returned to the space industry after many years of absence.

    In January, the Greek telecommunications ministry announced its plan to set up a space agency called the National Centre of Space Applications (CEEP), which would carry out space research for defense, earth sensing, forest fire prevention and illegal construction detection, as well as rent out spare transmitters to private clients.

    Hellas Sat 3 weighs almost 6 metric tons and will provide communication services in Europe, the Middle East and in Africa to the south from the Sahara desert. It will also provide Internet access and telephony via Inmarsat organization on board the planes flying over the European Union.

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    Tags:
    telecommunications, satellite launch, Hellas Sat 3, Greece
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