The departure of the Galileo satellites from ESA’s test centre in the Netherlands took place on 5 May. Here is a picture of that moment. After several months of testing, this latest full-capability Galileo navigation satellite left along with its twin.
Both satellites were loaded aboard trucks to be driven to Frankfurt Airport in Germany. From there, they were flown to Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana the following evening where they will be launched together by a Soyuz later this summer.
Before leaving ESTEC the satellites were both placed inside their own specially designed containers, maintaining their temperature, humidity and air cleanliness within rigid limits.