Monthly Archives: November 2013

Space tourism

After receiving a request in our Twitter account (@GalileoGNSS) by one of our followers, it has been decided to create a section within the blog to answer question raised on the social media that are considered of general interest. All these posts will be tagged as “Other” as they are not directly related with Galileo.

The first question comes from Will Martin (@willbermartin): “What do you expect a Wales-based space portal would bring to the UK?” Read more…

Galileo remote sites

@GalileoGNSS is travelling to some of the Galileo remote sites and is enjoying a lot! The pictures of the site in this post correspond to an island located in the Indian Ocean.

This is a TT&C station (Telemetry Tracking and Control). It is used to communicate with each satellite on a scheme combining regular, scheduled contacts, long-term test campaigns and contingency contacts. It is a 13-meter antenna operating in the 2 GHz Space Operations frequency bands. During normal operations, spread-spectrum modulation will be used, to provide robust, interference free operation. However, when the navigation system of a satellite is not in operation (during launch and early orbit operations or during a contingency) use of the common standard TTC modulation will allow non-ESA TTC stations to be used. In the final FOC phase there will be five TTC site (In IOV phase there were two sites deployed). Read more…

Galileo launch – First Soyuz launch from Europe’s Spaceport

Galileo IOV satellites launch on 21 October 2011 was historic: it was the first Soyuz launch from a spaceport outside of Baikonur in Kazakhstan or Plesetsk in Russia. The site was Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.

French Guiana is much closer to the equator, so each launch was benefit from Earth’s spin, increasing the maximum payload into geostationary transfer orbit from 1.7 tonnes to 3 tonnes. Read more…

The Soyuz site at Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana

Construction of the Soyuz site began in February 2007, although initial excavation and ground infrastructure work began in 2005 and 2006, respectively.

Russian staff arrived in French Guiana in mid-2008 to assemble the launch table, mobile gantry, fuelling systems and test benches.

The first two Soyuz launchers arrived from Russia by sea in November 2009 to be assembled in the new preparation and integration building. Read more…