ESA is moving ahead with the development of their next-generation satellite communication platform - Neosat. The Phase-B contract was signed on 20 February in Paris, France. ESA contracted the European firms Airbus Defense and Space and Thales Alenia Space to build the new generation Neosat spacecrafts.
The Astrium-supplied satellite equipment and airtime is helping humanitarian workers in the tumultuous Sahel region to share vital information as they manage the very critical humanitarian situation in this area. Communications links are severely disrupted in northern Mali, where land lines and mobile networks have been cut off in several towns.