by Staff Writers
Kourou, French Guiana (ESA) Aug 05, 2015
Arianespace is gearing up this week for its upcoming Soyuz Flight VS12 - scheduled for September 10 from French Guiana - with initial fit-check activities completed for the mission's two passengers: the latest European Galileo navigation satellites.
During activity inside the Spaceport's S1A clean room facility, the correct fit was confirmed for the Galileo spacecraft on their specially-designed payload dispenser, which will hold the satellites in a side-by-side configuration atop Soyuz' Fregat upper stage during the mission and deploy them at the orbital insertion point.
As part of this process, the spacecraft - which are the fifth and sixth in Galileo's full operational capability (FOC) phase - are installed separately, then removed from, the RUAG Space Sweden-built dispenser that uses a pyrotechnic separation system to release them in opposite directions during the flight.
Completion of the fit-check allows the next stage of payload preparations to begin, including fueling, final integration with the payload dispenser, and the completed unit's subsequent installation on Arianespace's medium-lift workhorse Soyuz vehicle.
Galileo's FOC phase is managed and funded by the European Commission, with the European Space Agency delegated as the design and procurement agent on the Commission's behalf. The latest Galileo FOC spacecraft were produced by OHB System, with Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. supplying their navigation payloads that will generate precise positioning measurements and services around the world.
At full deployment, the Galileo program will consist of 30 satellites - comprising operational spacecraft and reserves - situated on three circular medium Earth orbits at some 23,200 km. altitude inclined 56 deg. to the equator. The constellation - and associated ground infrastructure - will provide high-quality positioning, navigation and timing services under civilian control, and be interoperable with the U.S. GPS and Russian Glonass global positioning systems.
This week's processing with the Galileo satellites is part of Arianespace's busy operational pace in French Guiana, where payload and launcher activity has commenced for four upcoming missions: Ariane 5 Flight VA225, Soyuz Flight VS12, Ariane 5 Flight VA226 and Vega Flight VV06.
Arianespace's Flight VS12 is planned to be the company's eighth launch this year, following August 20's scheduled Ariane 5 Flight VA225, as well as six successful missions already completed in 2015 - comprising separate flights of three Ariane 5s, two Vega vehicles, and a Soyuz launcher.
Launch Pad at Space-Travel.com
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - 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. 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 All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.