Category Archives: Galileo Launchers

Galileo Launchers

Galileo’s Ariane 5 arrives at Europe’s Spaceport

Unloading Ariane 5

The first Ariane 5 rocket modified to carry four Galileo satellites into orbit has arrived at Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana for a November launch.

So far, 14 Galileo satellites have been launched two by two on Soyuz rockets from French Guiana. This inaugural launch by Ariane 5 will boost that number to 18.

The MN Colibri roll-on/roll-off ship, built to transport European rocket elements, reached French Guiana’s Pariacabo Port on 22 August. Read more…

Galileo’s Ariane 5 dispenser ready at spaceport

Four-satellite Galileo dispenserFollowing rigorous testing in France and Germany, a new type of dispenser designed to carry four navigation satellites into orbit at once is now in French Guiana, in place for Galileo’s first Ariane 5 launch later this year.

The dispenser is an essential element of launch success, with a double role to play. Firstly it must hold the quartet of satellites securely in place during the stresses of liftoff, and then the nearly four-hour long flight to medium-Earth orbit.

Then, once the Ariane 5 EPS upper stage reaches its target 23 222 km altitude, the dispenser has to release the four Galileo satellites smoothly Read more…

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)

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] 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

 

Launch 7. Payload integration begins

sat-13 integrated on its payload dispenser. Soyuz VS15The first of two Galileo navigation satellites to be orbited on Arianespace’s May 24 Soyuz flight has been integrated on its payload dispenser system, marking a key step as preparations advance for this medium-lift mission from French Guiana.

Named “Danielė”, the spacecraft was installed last week during activity inside the Spaceport’s S3B payload preparation facility. It is to be joined on the dispenser system by the mission’s other passenger, “Alizée”, whose own installation is forthcoming in a side-by-side arrangement.

The pair are then to be mated atop Soyuz’ Fregat upper stage and encapsulated in the protective payload fairing. Prime contractor OHB System in Bremen, Germany produced the satellites, and their onboard payloads are supplied by UK-based Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL), which is 99-percent owned by Airbus Defence and Space. Read more…

Galileo 13 & 14 fueled

Galileo satellite 13 and 14 fueledPreparations for Arianespace’s upcoming mission have moved into the fueling phase for the two Galileo navigation satellites that will be orbited by a medium-lift Soyuz on 24 May from the Spaceport in French Guiana.

Technicians donned spacesuit-like protective outfits to handle the toxic hydrazine fuel that will enable the two satellites to fine-tune their orbits and orientation over the course of their working lives of 12 years or more.

The 13th Galileo satellite was fuelled on 3 May, with the 14th being fuelled a day later.

After fuelling both satellites have been connected to “checkout terminal equipment” to enable battery charging and atomic clock monitoring. Read more…

Two Galileos are “fit” for their Arianespace Soyuz launch in May

Soyuz_VS15_fit_checkThe next two spacecraft to join Europe’s Galileo global satellite navigation system have made their initial contact with launcher hardware at the Spaceport in French Guiana, continuing the preparations for their liftoff on an Arianespace Soyuz vehicle in May.

During activity in the Spaceport’s S1A clean room facility, both spacecraft completed the initial “fit check” process, in which they were installed on the dispenser system that will deploy them in orbit during the May 24 flight.

The two FOC (Full Operational Capability) Galileo satellites were then removed, enabling their continued preparation and fueling. Prime contractor OHB System in Bremen, Germany produces the Galileo FOC spacecraft. Read more…