Category Archives: Galileo Launchers

Galileo Launchers

First Ariane 6 contract: to orbit four Galileo satellites

Ariane 6Four of the latest set of Galileo navigation satellites will be launched on Ariane 6 rockets – ESA’s first contract to use Europe’s new vehicle.

The launches are scheduled between the end of 2020 and mid-2021, using two Ariane 62 rockets – the configuration of Europe’s next-generation launch vehicle that is best suited to haul the two 750 kg navigation satellites into their orbits at 23 222 km altitude.

Under development, Ariane 6 is Europe’s newest launcher, designed to extend guaranteed access to space for Europe at a competitive price. It will operate in two configurations, depending on customer needs: Ariane 62 is fitted with two strap-on boosters while Ariane 64 has four.

“Ariane 6 is not only in full development, but it will soon be put to use,” notes Daniel Neuenschwander, ESA’s Director of Space Transportation. “This contract is a key step in the upcoming ramp-up phase of Ariane 6.”

The Galileos have so far either been launched in pairs by Soyuz from French Guiana or in fours by Ariane 5.

A new Ariane 5 flight is scheduled for the end of this year (12th December), to add four more satellites to the 18-strong constellation already in orbit. This month saw the arrival of the first elements of the rocket in French Guiana, transported aboard the MN Colibri roll-on/roll-off ship. Read more…

[vid] Ariane 6, the next generation launch vehicle for Galileo

Artist's view of the two configurations of Ariane 6

Ariane 6 two configurations

ESA and European industry are currently developing a new-generation launcher: Ariane 6. This follows the decision taken at the ESA Council meeting at Ministerial level in December 2014, to maintain Europe’s leadership in the fast-changing commercial launch service market while responding to the needs of European institutional missions.

This move is associated with a change in the governance of the European launcher sector, based on a sharing of responsibility, cost and risk by ESA and industry.

The participating states are: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

Read more…

[vid] Galileo satellites 15–18, from final preparations to liftoff

This timelapse video shows Galileo satellites 15–18, from final preparations to liftoff on a Ariane 5 launcher, flight VA233, from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana, on 17 November 2016, accelerating deployment of the new satellite navigation system. Galileo is the Europe’s own global satellite navigation system. The full system of 24 satellites plus spares is expected to be in place by 2020.

 

Galileo launch 8, VA233 (17-11-2016)

Launch of 4 new Galileo satellites

Liftoff of Ariane flight VA233An Ariane 5 rocket has launched four additional Galileo satellites, accelerating deployment of the new satellite navigation system.

The Ariane 5, operated by Arianespace, lifted off from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana at 13:06 GMT (14:06 CET, 10:06 local time) carrying Galileo satellites 15–18. The first pair was released 3 hours 35 minutes and 44 seconds after liftoff, while the second separated 20 minutes later.

The Galileos are at their target altitude, after a flawless release from the new dispenser designed to handle four satellites. Read more…

[vid] Ariane 5 VA233 mission flight sequence

The following video describes the Nov. 17 Ariane 5 mission’s flight sequence, designated Flight VA233 in Arianespace’s numbering system.

Liftoff is planned on Thursday, November 17, 2016 at exactly:
– 10:06:48 a.m., Kourou time
– 08:06:48 a.m., Washington D.C. time
– 13:06:48, Universal Time (UTC)
– 02:06:48 p.m., Paris time

 

Ariane 5 arrives at the launch zone

the-ariane-5-nears-completion-of-its-transfer-from-the-spaceports-final-assembly-building-to-the-ela-3-launch-zoneArianespace’s sixth Ariane 5 for liftoff this year has rolled out to the launch zone in French Guiana, clearing the way for the heavy-lift vehicle’s first-ever mission to orbit satellites for Europe’s Galileo navigation system.

The completed Ariane 5 was transferred today atop its mobile launch table from the Final Assembly Building – where payload integration occurred – to the Spaceport’s dedicated ELA-3 launch complex, setting the stage for Arianespace’s ninth overall mission in 2016 across its full family of Ariane 5, Soyuz and Vega vehicles.

Designated Flight VA233 in the company’s numbering system, this upcoming Ariane 5 mission – set for Thursday, November 17 – will lift off at exactly 10:06:48 a.m. local time in French Guiana and deploy its quartet of Galileo spacecraft during a nearly four-hour flight.

VA233. Ariane 5 launch campaign

galileo-satellites-lowered-into-position-for-installation-atop-the-central-core

Galileo satellites lowered into position for installation atop the central core

Antonianna, Lisa, Kimberley and Tijmen – the latest Galileo spacecraft for Europe’s satellite navigation constellation – have been integrated with their Ariane 5 launcher in French Guiana for a November 17 Arianespace mission.

The four 715 kg satellites – named for winners of a European children’s drawing contest – were attached to their dispenser as a combined ‘upper composite’ and transported to the final assembly building on 31 October.

The next step saw them put on top of the upper stage of their customised launcher. Finally, on 3 November, the quartet was enclosed within a protective fairing – the last time they were seen by human eyes – to protect them from the onrushing atmosphere during ascent.

Arianespace previously has lofted 14 Full Operational Capability (FOC) and In-Orbit Validation (IOV) satellites for Galileo from French Guiana with seven missions utilizing its medium-lift Soyuz vehicle, along with two other Soyuz flights from the Baikonur Cosmodrome that deployed the GIOVE-A and GIOVE-B experimental satellites.

Read more…

Ariane 5 ready for first payload of Galileo satellites

ariane 5's bay hoisted for integrationThe initial Ariane 5 to loft four global positioning satellites for Europe’s Galileo navigation system has begun its build-up at the Spaceport in French Guiana for a milestone Arianespace mission in November.

This launcher is an Ariane 5 ES version that began the integration process begining of October, with the cryogenic core stage’s positioning over a mobile launch pad, followed by integration of the vehicle’s two solid propellant boosters.

Designated as Flight VA233 in Arianespace’s numbering system, the mission’s Ariane 5 was assembled inside the Spaceport’s Launcher Integration Building. During activity in the Spaceport’s Launcher Integration Building, the heavy-lift vehicle for Arianespace Flight VA233 underwent the assembly process that began by mating Ariane 5’s two solid propellant strap-on boosters with the main cryogenic stage. Read more…