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…
This is a summary of the main milestones achieved in Kourou in the last days, before declaring the green light in the Launch Readiness Review.
Installation of Galileo 11 and 12 and their dispenser system atop Soyuz Fregat occurred in the European Spaceport’s S3B clean room facility. The dispenser will deploy the satellites by firing a pyrotechnic system for separation in opposite directions at the orbital insertion point.
Fregat operates as Soyuz’ fourth stage, providing an autonomous and flexible propulsion system. Built by Russia’s NPO Lavochkin, it will perform two propulsion burns during the Galileo mission with the upper stage designed to be restarted up to 20 times in flight.
Rollout and vertical positioning of the Soyuz three-stage vehicle. Soyuz was moved via a transport/erector rail car in a horizontal-transfer process from the MIK launcher assembly facility to the Soyuz ELS launch complex. Once on the launch pad, Soyuz was erected to the vertical orientation, where it was suspended in place by four large support arms, followed by the transport/erector rail car’s withdrawal. Read more…
The two Galileo spacecraft for Arianespace’s latest Soyuz launch at the service of Europe’s Galileo satellite-based navigation system, and the company’s record 12th mission overall in 2015, have been integrated at the Spaceport in preparation for their December 17 liftoff from French Guiana.
Giuliano Gatti, ESA’s Galileo Space Segment Manager.
Thierry Fahem, Arianespace Galileo sat 11-12 project director.
Thierry Wilmart, Arianespace Galileo sat 11-12 mission director
Jean-Claude Garreau, Arianespace Launch Site Operations Manager
On tonight’s launch from the Guiana Space Center, Arianespace will orbit the two latest Galileo satellites. Carried out on behalf of the European Commission, under a European Space Agency (ESA) contract, this launch will orbit the ninth and tenth Galileo FOC satellites.
While waiting for the launch enjoy these pics from the European Space Centre thanks to CNES.
Following liftoff from the Guiana Space Center, the powered phase of the lower three Soyuz stages will last about nine minutes. The third stage of the launcher will then be separated from the upper composite, comprising the Fregat upper stage and the Galileo satellites 9 & 10. The three lower stages and the fairing will fall back into the sea.
After a first burn, the upper composite is spun up during a ballistic phase lasting about 3 hours and 15 minutes. Then, Fregat will ignite its own engine to bring the upper composite to a transfert orbit above the Earth. At a pre-determined point of this orbit, Fregat will ignite a second burn lasting 4 minutes to reach the circular orbit of separation.
At the end of the mission, the Fregat upper stage will be passivated. The Galileo satellites will then lower their altitude in order to reach their operational orbit.
Next we present a couple of recent videos taken in the European Space Centre in Kourou (French Guiana), where the Galileo 9 & 10 Soyuz VS12 launch campaign is explained by Jean-Claude Chiarini (ESA Mission Director) and Thierry Wilmart (Arianespace Mission Director).
Galileo satellites 9 and 10 are scheduled to lift off at 02:08 GMT (04:08 CEST) on 11 September from Europe’s Spaceport.