Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. GPS News .

Twin Galileo satellites fuelled and ready for launch
by Staff Writers
Paris (ESA) Oct 05, 2012

The four Galileo In-Orbit Validation satellites in their orbits. Credits: ESA - P. Carril.

The twin Galileo satellites are now fully fuelled and mated together atop the upper stage that will haul them most of the way up to their final orbit. The launch is now planned for the evening of 12 October.

Technicians donned protective suits to fill the two satellites' tanks with hydrazine fuel, used to maintain the satellites' attitude and orbital position during their planned 12-year lifetime. Rather than carry a significant amount of extra fuel to insert themselves into their planned orbits - like typical telecommunications satellites or Galileo's US GPS equivalents - the Galileo satellites are transported to medium orbit by the Fregat fourth stage of their Soyuz ST-B launcher.

Doing without this extra fuel and orbital thrusters means that Galileo satellites are small enough to be launched in pairs aboard the Soyuz - or in fours by the new Ariane 5 variant currently being prepared.

The Galileo satellites are attached to a special dispenser that holds them securely in position during launch, before pyrotechnic mechanisms release them sideways in opposite directions once their set 23 222 km altitude is reached.

The aluminium plates on each side of the satellites are temporary additions to protect their delicate solar panels; these will be removed later.

The combined satellites, dispenser and Fregat upper stage will now be carefully checked ahead of the next major milestone, the fitting of the protective launch fairing on Thursday.

The mission's satellite launch readiness review will begin at the start of the following week. If that goes well, the combined 'Upper Composite' will be moved from the Fregat Integration Building to the launch pad, where it will be attached to the Soyuz launcher.


Related Links
GPS Applications, Technology and Suppliers

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Lockheed Martin Delivers Propulsion Core for the First GPS III Satellite
Denver CO (SPX) Sep 25, 2012
The Lockheed Martin team developing the U.S. Air Force's next generation Global Positioning System III satellites has delivered the first spacecraft's propulsion core module to the company's Denver-area GPS Processing Facility (GPF). The milestone represents the program's first major hardware delivery for GPS III Space Vehicle 1 and highlights the satellite's initial Assembly, Integration and Te ... read more

African land grabs are 'out of control'

New technologies advance livestock genomics for agricultural and biomedical uses

Superweeds linked to rising herbicide use in GM crops

Too Little Nitrogen May Restrain Carbon Storage Capability Of Plants

Visionary transparent memory a step closer to reality

Acoustic cell-sorting chip may lead to cell phone-sized medical labs

New method monitors semiconductor etching as it happens - with light

New method monitors semiconductor etching as it happens - with light

JAL to extend Japan-China flight cuts amid row

Lockheed Martin Announces New Solution to Reduce Airport Congestion and Improve Overall Airspace Efficiency

New Brazilian facility for Eurocopter

GE calls for jet engine checks after China incident

Study: Electric cars can be polluters

Toyota China sales cut in half by island row: report

Fledging electric car market in turmoil with few buyers

VW eyes budget cars for emerging markets 'in two years'

Argentine retailers told to cut prices

Australia and Mongolia mining cooperation?

US manufacturers bringing work home from overseas

Japan insurers stop China riot coverage: report

Climate change cripples forests

Semi-dwarf trees may enable a green revolution for some forest crop

Rangers losing battle in Philippine forests

Indonesian palm oil company loses permit on illegal logging

SMOS has a better look at salinity

Digital Map Products to Discuss the New Rules for Communicating with Residents

Apple CEO sorry for maps shortcomings

Landslide mapping in the Swiss Alps

Nano-hillocks: Of mountains and craters

Nanoparticles Glow Through Thick Layer of Tissue

All systems go at the biofactory

Electrons confined inside nano-pyramids

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal 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