Airbus Defence and Space

Airbus Defence and Space’s Swarm satellite trio successfully launches from Plesetsk

• Swarm satellites to perform high-precision research on Earth’s magnetic field for four years

• Airbus Defence and Space is prime contractor for the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Swarm research mission


The Swarm satellite mission – developed and built by Airbus Defence and Space, the world’s second largest space company – has been successfully launched from a Rockot launch vehicle, which carried the three magnetic-field research satellites into space from Russia’s Plesetsk Cosmodrome (approx. 800 km north of Moscow) today at 1.02 PM CET.

The Swarm satellites were placed on their orbits approximately 92 minutes after launching.

Over a period of at least four years, the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Swarm mission will measure the Earth’s magnetic field and its development with previously unattained accuracy. The findings will improve our understanding of the Earth’s interior and how it interacts with space. An improved understanding of the magnetic field also has significant practical uses. 
In particular, it is anticipated that this research will ultimately contribute to more precise navigation with compasses or gyros, which can improve, for example, directional drilling in resource exploitation. In addition, it is expected to help improve space weather models.
Airbus Defence and Space is the prime contractor for ESA’s Swarm satellite trio. Eurockot Launch Services, an Airbus Defence and Space subsidiary, is responsible for the launch.

Together, pioneering excellence
Airbus Defence and Space is the number one company in Europe for space technologies and the second in the world. It is the only global company that covers the full range of civil and defence space systems, equipment and services.
In 2012, Airbus Defence and Space had a turnover over €5.8 billion and 18,000 employees worldwide.
Its three business units are: Airbus Defence and Space, the European prime contractor for launchers, orbital systems and space exploration; Airbus Defence and Space, a leading provider of satellite system solutions, including spacecraft, ground segments, payloads and equipments; Airbus Defence and Space Services, the Space services partner for critical missions, providing comprehensive fixed and mobile solutions covering secure and commercial satcoms and networks, and bespoke geo-information Airbus Defence and Space is a wholly owned subsidiary of AIRBUS Group, a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2012, the Group – comprising Airbus, Airbus Defence and Space, Cassidian and Eurocopter – generated revenues of €56.5 billion and employed a workforce of over 140,000.

Jeremy Close Tel.: +44 (0)1 438 77 3872
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