Tag Archives: sat-6

Galileo satellites in eliptical orbit broadcasting navigation messages

The two Galileo satellites launched into elliptical orbits in August 2014, GSAT0201 using PRN code E18 and GSAT0202 using PRN code E14, started transmitting navigation messages for test purposes on 2016-08-05.

The Signal Health Status (SHS) flags are set to “Test” and the Data Validity Status (DVS) flags to WWG (working without guarantee). The satellites will not be included in the broadcast almanacs.

Users are requested to provide feedback on usage of GSAT0201 and GSAT0202 by contacting the help desk on the European GNSS Service Centre web portal.

Galileo satellites to test Einstein’s Theory

Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein

Europe’s fifth and sixth Galileo satellites, subject to complex salvage manoeuvres following their launch last year into incorrect orbits, will help to perform an ambitious year-long test of Einstein’s theory of General Relativity (clocks run more slowly the closer they are to heavy objects).

Galileos 5 and 6 were launched together by a Soyuz rocket on 22 August 2014. But the faulty upper stage stranded them in elongated orbits that blocked their use for navigation.

ESA’s specialists moved into action and oversaw a demanding set of manoeuvres to raise the low points of their orbits and make them more circular.

“The satellites can now reliably operate their navigation payloads continuously, and the European Commission, with the support of ESA, is assessing their eventual operational use,” explains ESA’s senior satnav advisor Javier Ventura-Traveset.

“In the meantime, the satellites have accidentally become extremely useful scientifically, as tools to test Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity by measuring more accurately than ever before the way that gravity affects the passing of time.” Read more…

Soyuz VS11 successfully launches Galileo 7 & 8

Arianespace has orbited the two latest satellites in the Galileo constellation, the seventh and eighth named “Adam” and “Anastasia”. The Soyuz VS11 launch  from the Guiana Space Center took place on Friday, March 27 at 21:46 GMT. The medium-lift Soyuz performed a flight of nearly 3 hours and 48 minutes to deploy both spacecrafts.

Galileo Soyuz-VS11 (27-March 2015)

Galileo Soyuz-VS11 (27-March 2015)

Galileo Soyuz-VS11 (27-March 2015)

Galileo Soyuz-VS11 (27-March 2015)

After an initial powered phase of Soyuz’ three lower stages, the launch included two burns of the Fregat upper stage, separated by a three-hour-plus ballistic phase, to place the two 700-kg.-class satellites at their targeted deployment point. Total payload lift performance for the flight was estimated at 1,597 kg. on a mission to a circular medium-Earth orbit. Read more…

Watch Galileo launch-4 live

The seventh and eighth Galileo satellites are scheduled for launch tomorrow, March 27, at 21:46:18 GMT (22:46:18 CET) atop a Soyuz ST-B rocket from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana. Streaming starts at 21:26 GMT (22:26 CET) at the European Space Agency website.

The first three stages of the Soyuz rocket will take the Galileo satellites and their Fregat upper stage into low orbit. Then the reignitable Fregat, as much a spacecraft as a rocket stage, will take over the task of hauling the satellites higher through a pair of burns. The satellites will be released in opposite directions by their dispenser once they reach their set 22,522 kilometer-altitude orbit 3 hours, 47 minutes, 57 seconds after launch. Read more…

Soyuz is in the launch zone – Soyuz VS11

The Soyuz for Arianespace’s next VS11 mission is in the launch zone at French Guiana, where it stands ready to receive the two Galileo satellites.

Applying procedures that have been followed since the workhorse Soyuz launcher inaugurated the Space Age, the basic three-stage vehicle for March 27 flight emerged today from its MIK integration building in the Spaceport’s northwestern sector (Soyuz site at Europe’s Spaceport).

Riding horizontally on a transporter/erector rail car, Soyuz was transferred to the ELS launch zone, which was followed by its erection to the vertical orientation and positioning over the launch pad, suspended in place by four large support arms. Read more…

Final payload integration – Soyuz VS11

The payload build-up has been completed in French Guiana for Arianespace’s medium-lift Soyuz mission on March 27, which is to orbit the seventh and eighth Galileo satellites.

These latest preparations, which occurred on 23-March in the Spaceport’s S3B clean room facility, involved installation of the two Galileo spacecraft with their dispenser system atop Soyuz’ Fregat upper stage, followed by encapsulation in the two-piece protective payload fairing. Read more…