Monthly Archives: May 2016

14 Galileo satellites now in orbit

Galileo launch 7 liftoffNamed for the astronomer who pinpointed Earth’s true position in the Solar System, the Galileo satellite navigation system that will help Europe find its way in the 21st century now has 14 satellites in orbit after 24th May double launch.

Galileos 13 and 14 lifted off together at 08:48 GMT (10:48 CEST, 05:48 local time) atop a Soyuz rocket from French Guiana.

This seventh Galileo launch went by the book: the first three Soyuz stages placed the satellites safely into low orbit, after which their Fregat upper stage hauled them the rest of the way into their target medium-altitude orbit. Read more…

Galileo liftoff replay – Soyuz VS15

Arianespace has successfully launched the 13th and 14th satellites of the Galileo constellation. The company’s second Soyuz launch of the year took place on May 24 at 5:48 am local time  (10:48 UTC) from the Guiana Space Center (CSG) in Kourou, French Guiana.

Today’s Soyuz success marks the 250th launch from the Guiana Space Center with its family of launchers. This total, composed of 229 Ariane flights, 15 with Soyuz and six liftoffs of Vega, confirms Arianespace’s operational performance over time for the benefit of all its clients.


 

Soyuz Flight VS15. Countdown and flight events

Liftoff is scheduled for Tuesday, May 24, 2016 at exactly:
05:48:43 a.m., Local time (French Guiana)
04:48:43 a.m., Washington, D.C.
08:48:43 a.m., UTC
10:48:43 a.m., Central European Time
11:48:43 p.m., Moscow

The 15th Soyuz launch from the Guiana Space Center (CSG) will place two new satellites for Europe’s Galileo satellites navigation System into circular orbit. The launcher will be carrying a total payload of 1,599 kg.

Countdown and flight
– 05H: Beginning of the meeting for launcher fueling authorization (BTR)
– 04H 30MN: Launch vehicle fueling begins
– 01H 35MN: End of fueling operations
– 01H 10MN: Mobile gantry withdrawal
– 00H 5MN 10S: Key on start
– 00H 5MN: Fregat transfer to onboard power supply
– 00H 2MN 25S: Upper composite umbilical drop-off command
– 00H 40S: Ground-onboard power transfer
– 00H 28S: Lower stage umbilical mast retraction
– 00H 16S: Ignition
– 00H 14S: Preliminary thrust level
– 00H 1S: Full thrust level
– 00:00: LIFTOFF
+ 00H 1MN 58S: Jettisoning of boosters
+ 00H 3MN 39S: Jettisoning of fairing
+ 00H 4MN 48S: Separation of central core (second stage)
+ 00H 9MN 24S: Separation of 3rd stage
+ 00H 10MN 24S: First Fregat burn
+ 00H 23MN 32S: Fregat shut down and beginning of ballistic phase
+ 03H 38MN 35S: Second Fregat burn
+ 03H 47MN 57S: Fregat shut down
+ 03H 47MN 57S: Galileo FOC-M5 SAT 13-14 separation (in Orbit Plane A)

Galileo Soyuz VS15 countdown

Spacecraft Operations Engineer at ESOCThe launch campaign is complete, the systems and teams at ESOC are ready. At Europe’s Spaceport, in Kourou, French Guyana, the satellite sits on top of its launcher, ready for the command that will send it soaring into space, watched intently by the experts at ESOC.

Ready to go to Space
With just hours to go before lift-off, the Mission Control Team at ESOC holds the final pre-launch briefing to review (one more time!) every detail of the mission plan.

At the briefing, team leaders and functional experts from the Mission Control Team are joined by the satellite’s Project Team from ESTEC as well as representatives from the launch service provider (in addition to the Agency’s own Spaceport at Kourou, ESA launches some satellites using commercial providers) and from the industrial contractor that built the satellite. Read more…

Soyuz Flight VS15

Soyuz VS15 - Fregat transferFregat fueled
Arianespace’s new Spaceport processing facility has fueled another Fregat stage. This upper stage for the medium-lift Soyuz launcher will be used for the May 24 flight from French Guiana with two European Galileo navigation satellites.

Named the FCube (Fregat Fueling Facility), the purpose-built installation is utilized to “top off” Fregat upper stages during Soyuz launch campaigns at the Spaceport. In service since last year, the FCube supports Arianespace’s sustained launch pace, giving the company greater flexibility in managing its mission manifest, while also increasing launch capacity with Soyuz and its other launch vehicle family members: the heavy-lift Ariane 5 and lightweight Vega. Read more…

[VID] Galileo, European pride

The Galileo programme is Europe’s initiative for a state-of-the-art global satellite navigation system, providing a highly accurate global positioning service under civilian control. The fully deployed system will consist of 30 satellites and the associated ground infrastructure. Galileo will be inter-operable with GPS and GLONASS. It will deliver state of the art services like Search and Rescue (SAR), encrypted signals or superior accuracy time-stamping.

 

[VID] VS15 Launch campaign

Next a set of five videos describing the Arianespace Soyuz Flight VS15 is presented. Liftoff is scheduled for Tuesday, May 24, 2016 at 05:48:43 a.m. local time (French Guiana) / 04:48:43 a.m., Washington, D.C. / 08:48:43 a.m., UTC / 10:48:43 a.m., Central European Time / 11:48:43 p.m., Moscow

Jean-Pierre Barlet, Arianespace Launch Site Operations Manager

 

Jean-Cristophe Delaunay, Arianespace deputy Mission Director

 

Paul Verhoef, ESA Director of the Galileo Programme and Navigation related Activites

 

Thierry Fahem, Galileo FOC-M5, Sat 13-14, Arianespace Programme Director

 

Arianespace mission personnel provides details on Soyuz’ nearly 4-hour flight sequence

 

ESA & CNES joint team

ESA & CNES joint teamThis week a unique, combined team of specialists are conducting final training at ESA’s ESOC mission control centre to prepare for the 24 May launch of Europe’s next Galileo satellites, a dual launch on a Soyuz rocket from Kourou.

The team comprises over 40 experts drawn from ESA and from France’s CNES space agency, supported by additional specialists at both agencies in areas such as flight dynamics and ground stations.

Within the combined flight control team, each position is paired with its counterpart from the other agency and mixed “CNESOC” shifts will rotate to conduct operations around the clock. Read more…

SSTL ships “last” navigation payload for Galileo

SSTL_PHMUK satellite manufacturer SSTL has reached a key milestone in its work on Galileo. The company has just shipped its 22nd navigation payload, and the last under its current work contract. Essentially the “brains” of a sat-nav spacecraft, this payload is already in the hands of consortium partner, OHB of Bremen, Germany, which will complete final assembly and testing.

Galileo is expected to begin public services by the end of this year. Twelve satellites are already in orbit transmitting timing and location data. A further two are set to launch on a Soyuz rocket on 24 May. Another four are scheduled to go up on an Ariane rocket before 2016 is out. Read more…