Monthly Archives: March 2015

Next steps after successful launch of satellite 7 & 8

The EU’s Galileo satellite navigation system now has eight satellites in orbit following the launch of the latest pair. Galileo 7 & 8 lifted off at 21:46 GMT (22:46 CET) on 27 March from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana on top of a Soyuz rocket. All the Soyuz stages performed as planned, with the Fregat upper stage releasing the satellites into their target orbit close to 23 500 km altitude, around 3 hours 48 minutes after liftoff.

Galileo Soyuz-VS11 (27-March 2015)

Galileo Soyuz-VS11 (27-March 2015)

Following initial checks, run jointly by ESA and France’s CNES space agency from the CNES Toulouse centre, the two satellites will be handed over to the Galileo Control Centre in Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany and the Galileo in-orbit testing facility in Redu, Belgium for testing before they are commissioned for operational service. This is expected in mid-year. Read more…

Galileo liftoff replay [Video]

The liftoff of Soyuz flight VS11 from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana took place as scheduled on 21:46:18 GMT (22:46:18 CET) on Friday 27 March 2015. The launcher was carrying Europe’s seventh and eighth Galileo navigation satellites, due to separate from their Fregat upper stage into their assigned orbit on 3 h 47 min after lift-off.



European Commissioner, Elżbieta Bieńkowska: “EU succesfully launches two Galileo satellites”

After placing two more Galileo satellites into orbit and receiving signals proving that they are positioned as expected, Elzbieta Bienkowska, European Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, commented: “The successful launch of two Galileo satellites takes us one step closer to a global European satellite navigation system. Today we demonstrated again that Europe has state-of-the-art know-how, cutting edge technology, and the vision and determination to accomplish great things. Whether you’re hoping to benefit from the next generation of in-car Satellite Navigation – or the reassurance of knowing the coastguard can deploy Search and Rescue – Galileo will soon provide you with great opportunities.” Read more…

Soyuz VS11 successfully launches Galileo 7 & 8

Arianespace has orbited the two latest satellites in the Galileo constellation, the seventh and eighth named “Adam” and “Anastasia”. The Soyuz VS11 launch  from the Guiana Space Center took place on Friday, March 27 at 21:46 GMT. The medium-lift Soyuz performed a flight of nearly 3 hours and 48 minutes to deploy both spacecrafts.

Galileo Soyuz-VS11 (27-March 2015)

Galileo Soyuz-VS11 (27-March 2015)

Galileo Soyuz-VS11 (27-March 2015)

Galileo Soyuz-VS11 (27-March 2015)

After an initial powered phase of Soyuz’ three lower stages, the launch included two burns of the Fregat upper stage, separated by a three-hour-plus ballistic phase, to place the two 700-kg.-class satellites at their targeted deployment point. Total payload lift performance for the flight was estimated at 1,597 kg. on a mission to a circular medium-Earth orbit. Read more…

Watch Galileo launch-4 live

The seventh and eighth Galileo satellites are scheduled for launch tomorrow, March 27, at 21:46:18 GMT (22:46:18 CET) atop a Soyuz ST-B rocket from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana. Streaming starts at 21:26 GMT (22:26 CET) at the European Space Agency website.

The first three stages of the Soyuz rocket will take the Galileo satellites and their Fregat upper stage into low orbit. Then the reignitable Fregat, as much a spacecraft as a rocket stage, will take over the task of hauling the satellites higher through a pair of burns. The satellites will be released in opposite directions by their dispenser once they reach their set 22,522 kilometer-altitude orbit 3 hours, 47 minutes, 57 seconds after launch. Read more…

Soyuz is in the launch zone – Soyuz VS11

The Soyuz for Arianespace’s next VS11 mission is in the launch zone at French Guiana, where it stands ready to receive the two Galileo satellites.

Applying procedures that have been followed since the workhorse Soyuz launcher inaugurated the Space Age, the basic three-stage vehicle for March 27 flight emerged today from its MIK integration building in the Spaceport’s northwestern sector (Soyuz site at Europe’s Spaceport).

Riding horizontally on a transporter/erector rail car, Soyuz was transferred to the ELS launch zone, which was followed by its erection to the vertical orientation and positioning over the launch pad, suspended in place by four large support arms. Read more…