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.
An 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…
Arianespace’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.
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.
The 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…
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.
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)