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)
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…
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
The 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…
Preparations 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…
The 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…