by Staff Writers
Kourou, French Guiana (ESA) Aug 20, 2014
"Doresa" and "Milena" - the first two Galileo FOC (Full Operational Capability) satellites - are ready for their ride to orbit this week, as preparations for Arianespace's Soyuz Flight VS09 move into the final stages.
The pair of Galileo satellites and their dispenser system have now been integrated atop the three-stage Soyuz with installation of the medium-lift workhorse vehicle's "upper composite," which also includes the protective payload fairing and the Fregat upper stage.
This activity - which occurred inside the purpose-built mobile gantry at the Soyuz launch complex in French Guiana - follows the upper composite's transfer on a special transporter from the separate S3B payload preparation facility.
These steps complete Arianespace's Soyuz launcher build-up for its August 21 mission, allowing final checkout to commence in preparation for a scheduled liftoff at precisely 9:31:14 a.m. local time in French Guiana on Thursday.
With a liftoff mass of 730 kg. each and a design life of 12 years or more, Doresa and Milena - named for children who won a European Commission-painting contest - are the first in a series of satellites for Galileo's FOC phase, which Arianespace will continue to deploy with its workhorse Soyuz and Ariane 5 vehicles.
Galileo's FOC phase is managed and funded by the European Commission, which delegated the European Space Agency as the program's design and procurement agent on its behalf. Doresa and Milena were built by FOC prime contractor OHB System in Bremen, Germany, with the spacecraft's navigation payloads provided by the UK's Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd.
The Galileo program will offer a civilian-controlled satellite navigation system operated by Europe, becoming another cornerstone in global satellite navigation, while also being interoperable with the U.S. GPS and Russian Glonass systems.
With a constellation of 30 satellites at full deployment, Galileo will determine accurate locations for most places on Earth and - as a result of its overall doubling of available satellites and the spacecraft's positions in orbits at greater inclination to the equatorial plane than GPS - provide better coverage at high latitudes, including Northern Europe.
GPS Applications, Technology and Suppliers
|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.|