Any of a series of geostationary satellites that have provided services to Europe in such areas as television and digital telephony. The system is owned by the European Telecommunications Satellite Organization and operated by the European Space Agency.
ECS-1 was launched on 16 June 1983 and operated for more than 13 years, while ECS-2, launched in 1984, lasted 9 years. ECS-3 was destroyed by a launch failure. ECS-4, launched in 1987, was still operating in 2001, after more than 12 years, although ECS-5, launched in 1988, was retired in 2001. A new European communications satellite, Artemis, was launched on 12 July 2001. It also relays communications to the Earth from other satellites.
Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics.