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.
Space-based radio navigation positioning has made significant strides in recent decades. It is now poised to make a greater leap thanks to Galileo, Europe’s global navigation satellite system (GNSS). Signalling technology developed by a team of European engineers not only helps Galileo deliver better accuracy and clear up signal clutter; it also pushes satellite navigation and its features to the next level.
A European team, led by French engineer Laurent Lestarquit and his Spanish colleague José Ángel Ávila Rodríguez and including German Günter Hein and Belgian Lionel Ries, has a unique specialism: sending clear signals from space. A virtual cacophony of radio frequencies is sent down to earth from the more than 50 navigation positioning satellites currently in orbit – including those of the US-led Global Positioning System (GPS), Russia’s Global Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS) and more recently Europe’s Galileo system. This team has helped ensure that signals do not interfere with each other, and that users and developers alike will be able to profit from the next-generation positioning technology that Galileo offers.
The team’s contribution of modulation and spread-spectrum signal technologies forms one of the joint European satellite positioning system’s core components, delivering signals that enhance accuracy, save on satellite power and ensure interoperability with GLONASS and the current GPS and its possible upgrades. 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…
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.