by Staff Writers
Kourou, French Guiana (ESA) Oct 21, 2016
Fueling operations have begun with the four Galileo spacecraft to be orbited next month from French Guiana on Arianespace's first launch that uses its Ariane 5 in deploying Europe's constellation of navigation satellites.
The fueling activity is now underway in the Spaceport's S3B payload preparation facility. One of the first to be processed is named "Antonianna," after an Italian child who won a European Commission Galileo drawing competition - with one winner selected from each member state of the European Union.
Weighing between 715 kg. and 717 kg. each, the quartet of Galileo satellites will have a combined liftoff mass of 2,865 kg., and they will be deployed by Ariane 5 into circular orbit during a mission lasting just under four hours.
A morning Ariane 5 launch from the Spaceport
Flight VA233 will mark Arianespace's first use of its heavy-lift Ariane 5 to loft Galileo satellites, following seven previous missions with the company's medium-lift Soyuz. The Soyuz vehicles carried a pair of Galileo spacecraft on each flight, delivering a total of 14 navigation satellites into orbit since 2011.
Galileo is an important infrastructure program for Europe, creating a civil global satellite navigation system that provides highly accurate positioning with great precision and reliability.
This program is funded and owned by the European Union, with overall responsibility for management and implementation held by the European Commission. The European Space Agency has been assigned design and development of the new generation of systems and infrastructure for Galileo.
OHB System in Bremen, Germany built the rectangular-shaped satellites, which are sized at 2.7 x 1.2 x 1.1 meters, with their navigation payloads provided by Surrey Satellite Technology in the United Kingdom.
Launch Pad at Space-Travel.com
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|