Tag Archives: European Space Agency

European Space Agency (ESA)

Ariane 6’s Vulcain engine set for first firing

Vulcain 2.1

Vulcain 2.1

A Vulcain rocket engine recently arrived in Germany ahead of its first test firing in December to demonstrate new capabilities and technologies developed for Ariane 6.

The Vulcain 2.1 will help to propel Ariane 6, new-generation launcher for Galileo, in the first 10 minutes of flight, up to an altitude of 200 km.

The engine delivers 135 tonnes of thrust in vacuum, and weighs the same as an Airbus A318 jet engine but provides more than 10 times the power. Read more…

[vid] Galileo Launch 9 liftoff replay

Europe has four more Galileo navigation satellites (satellites 19–22) in the sky following their launch from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana at 18:36 GMT (19:36 CET, 15:36 local time), on an Ariane 5 rocket, operated by Arianespace.


Galileo launch brings navigation network close to completion

Liftoff of Ariane 5 Flight VA240 from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou

Liftoff of Ariane 5 Flight VA240 from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou

Europe has four more Galileo navigation satellites in the sky following their launch on an Ariane 5 rocket. After today’s success, only one more launch remains before the Galileo constellation is complete and delivering global coverage.

Ariane 5, operated by Arianespace under contract to ESA, lifted off from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana at 18:36 GMT (19:36 CET, 15:36 local time), carrying Galileo satellites 19–22. The first pair of 715 kg satellites was released almost 3 hours 36 minutes after liftoff, while the second pair separated 20 minutes later. Read more…

Galileo launch 9 at a glance

Europe’s Galileo satellite navigation system will come a giant leap nearer completion on Tuesday 12 December, as four more Galileo satellites are launched into orbit by Ariane 5.

Liftoff from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana is scheduled for 18:36 UTC (19:36 CET, 15:36 local time), carrying Galileo satellites 19–22.

The launcher’s attitude and trajectory are controlled by the two onboard computers, located in the Ariane 5 vehicle equipment bay (VEB). Read more…

Galileos 19-22 near completion

Macron, Juncker and Wörner visit Europe's Spaceport

Macron, Juncker and Wörner
visit Europe’s Spaceport

The Galileo global navigation satellite system has been offering initial services since almost a year and the performances are great. Independent measurements and evaluation of the system show that the European system is currently the best satellite positioning system in the world.

A symbolic image of the European Space Port in Kourou (French Guiana) as the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, the French President Emmanuel Macron, and
the Director General of the European Space Agency Jan Wörner, stand in front of the Ariane 5 launcher, which will soon carry 4 more Galileo satellites into space.

On 12 December at 19:36 CET, an Ariane 5 will launch from Kourou with 4 new Galileo satellites, adding to the constellation which is set to be completed next year.

Call for Media: Galileo 19-22 ready for launch

The next four Galileo satellites are scheduled for launch on 12 December at 18:36 GMT (19:36 CET, 15:36 local time) from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana atop an Ariane 5 rocket.

This launch will bring the total Galileo constellation to 22, boosting the global availability of navigation signals. Galileo began initial services on 15 December 2016, the first step towards full operations.

Media are invited to take part in an audio briefing on 11 December at 16:30 GMT (17:30 CET) to learn the latest on the status of the system Read more…

Galileo quartet fuelled and ready to fly

VA240 - Four Galileos on Ariane 5

VA240 – Four Galileos on Ariane 5

Europe’s next four Galileo navigation satellites and the Ariane 5 rocket due to lift them into orbit are being readied for their 12 December launch from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.

Tuesday saw Galileo satellites 19–22 declared ready for flight, along with their Ariane. Combined activities are now under way, culminating in the satellites meeting their rocket in the Final Assembly Building.

The satellites were flown in pairs to French Guiana last month. Once safely unboxed in the Spaceport’s cleanroom environment, they were tested to ensure they had suffered no damage during their transatlantic flights. Read more…

First Ariane 6 contract: to orbit four Galileo satellites

Ariane 6Four of the latest set of Galileo navigation satellites will be launched on Ariane 6 rockets – ESA’s first contract to use Europe’s new vehicle.

The launches are scheduled between the end of 2020 and mid-2021, using two Ariane 62 rockets – the configuration of Europe’s next-generation launch vehicle that is best suited to haul the two 750 kg navigation satellites into their orbits at 23 222 km altitude.

Under development, Ariane 6 is Europe’s newest launcher, designed to extend guaranteed access to space for Europe at a competitive price. It will operate in two configurations, depending on customer needs: Ariane 62 is fitted with two strap-on boosters while Ariane 64 has four.

“Ariane 6 is not only in full development, but it will soon be put to use,” notes Daniel Neuenschwander, ESA’s Director of Space Transportation. “This contract is a key step in the upcoming ramp-up phase of Ariane 6.”

The Galileos have so far either been launched in pairs by Soyuz from French Guiana or in fours by Ariane 5.

A new Ariane 5 flight is scheduled for the end of this year (12th December), to add four more satellites to the 18-strong constellation already in orbit. This month saw the arrival of the first elements of the rocket in French Guiana, transported aboard the MN Colibri roll-on/roll-off ship. Read more…

Contract signed with OHB, SSTL for eight more Galileo satellites

Signing the contract. ESA’s Director of the Galileo Programme, Paul Verhoef (right) shakes hands with CEO of OHB, Marco FuchsEurope’s Galileo navigation constellation will gain an additional eight satellites, bringing it to completion, thanks to a contract signed at the Paris Air and Space Show.

The contract to build and test another eight Galileo satellites was awarded to a consortium led by prime contractor OHB, with Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd overseeing their navigation platforms.

This is the third such satellite signing: the first four In Orbit Validation satellites were built by a consortium led by Airbus Defence and Space, while production of the next 22 Full Operational Capability (FOC) satellites was led by OHB. Read more…

Two more satellites join Galileo service provision

Commissioning of two new Galileo satellitesThe European GNSS Agency (GSA), along with the European GNSS Service Centre (GSC), announce the commissioning of two additional satellites, bringing the total number of satellites available for the Galileo service provision to 18.

The GSA announced beginning of August the completion of in-orbit testing (IOT) of two new Galileo satellites, GSAT0212-SV ID 03- and GSAT0213-SV ID 04 -. Having passed all initial tests, the two satellites are now officially commissioned for operational use and are usable for the Galileo service provision (see NAGU 2017029 and NAGU 2017033). Read more…