The SpaceX Falcon 9 carrying GovSat-1 blasts off from Cape Canaveral
Satellite launch and citizens' rights - headlines for today
The stories making the headlines for Luxembourg and the EU.
GovSat-1 has lift off
After a one-day delay, Luxembourg’s latest satellite was launched into orbit on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. Prime minister Xavier Bettel was in Cape Canaveral to see the launch alongside deputy prime minister Étienne Schneider, Crown Prince Guillaume and Princess Stéphanie. GovSat-1, a joint state project with SES, will provide telecommunications services to the military and institutional customers. “The novelty here is that we take the capabilities that you find in national programmes and combine them, basically, with the accessibility and innovation you find in commercial programmes,” Patrick Biewer, the CEO of GovSat, told the BBC. Xavier Bettel was keen to stress the grand duchy’s pioneering spirit. “GovSat and the launch of GovSat-1 is another step towards strengthening the position of Luxembourg as a key player in the aerospace sector, and contributes to a diversification of our economy,” he said.
Doubt cast over citizens’ rights during Brexit transition
Reuters and other news sources report on a statement by Theresa May that could cause a dispute over the rights of EU citizens who arrive in Britain after its formal exit from the European Union. “I’m clear there’s a difference between those people who came prior to us leaving and those who will come when they know the UK is no longer a member of the EU,” May told reporters on her way to China. The UK will formally no longer be a member of the European Union as of 29 March 2019, two years after May triggered Article 50 to start the process of so-called Brexit. But the EU and UK have agreed to a transition phase, up until the end of 2020, during which the EU expects the UK to comply with EU rules, including the free movement of people.
Film fest programme
Luxembourg City Film Festival will reveal what promises to be an exciting programme on Thursday morning. The festival, which runs from 22 February to 4 March, has secured several highly-anticipated films and will also welcome a number of big-name guests. Delano will publish highlights of the programme before noon.