Fourth Galileo satellite reaches French Guiana launch site

Aug 22, 2012
Fourth Galileo satellite reaches French Guiana launch site
The fourth Galileo flight model satellite being unloaded from its Ilyushin aircraft at Cayenne Airport in French Guiana on 17 August 2012. Credits: ESA/EADS Astrium - Raoul Kieffer

The next two Galileo satellites are now in place at Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana, being prepared for their shared launch this autumn.

The fourth flight model arrived at Cayenne Airport in French Guiana on Friday 17 August, flown from the Thales Alenia Space facility in Rome aboard an Ilyushin aircraft.

Cocooned inside a protective air-conditioned container, the satellite was then transported to the preparation facility at the Guiana Space Centre to join the third , which arrived there 10 days earlier.

These third and fourth Galileo 'In-Orbit Validation'€™ (IOV) satellites are due to be launched aboard a Soyuz ST-B vehicle in October. These new satellites will join the first two Galileo satellites – launched last year – in medium Earth orbit at 23 222 km.

Fourth Galileo satellite reaches French Guiana launch site
The four Galileo In-Orbit Validation satellites in their orbits. Credits: ESA - P. Carril

This will mark a significant step in ’s programme because it will complete the deployment of infrastructure required for the IOV phase and will allow for the first time a computation of on-ground position based solely on Galileo satellites.

The IOV phase is being followed by the deployment of additional satellites and ground segment as required to achieve the 'Full Operational Capability'€™, leading to provision of services.

The first 22 of these FOC satellites are currently being built by OHB in Germany, responsible for the platforms and final satellite integration, and UK-based Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd, producing the payloads.

The first four Galileo IOV satellites have been built by a consortium led by EADS Astrium, Germany, with Astrium producing the platforms and Astrium UK responsible for the payloads.

Explore further: SpaceX Dragon cargo ship arrives at space station

Related Stories

First Galileo satellite travels to launch site

Dec 01, 2005

GIOVE A, the first Galileo satellite, departed from ESA's test facility at the European Space Research and Technology Centre in The Netherlands on the morning of 29 November, bound for the Baikonur Cosmodrome ...

Galileo satellite undergoes launch check-up at ESTEC

Jan 20, 2011

Galileo's first satellite is undergoing testing at ESA's technical centre in the Netherlands, checking its readiness to be launched into orbit. This marks a significant step for Europe's Galileo satnav constellation.

Galileo satellite platform tests under way

Dec 03, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- The engineering model of the first Galileo satellites has completed platform integration tests at the Thales Alenia Space facility in Rome. The platform is now undergoing functional testing. ...

Galileo's Soyuz launchers arrive at French Guiana

Jun 22, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- The two Soyuz launchers that will fly the first four satellites of Europe’s Galileo navigation system into orbit have arrived at Kourou harbour in French Guiana, completing a journey ...

Recommended for you

Mercury MESSENGER nears epic mission end

13 hours ago

A spacecraft that carries a sensor built at the University of Michigan is about to crash into the planet closest to the sun—just as NASA intended.

Dawn glimpses Ceres' north pole

14 hours ago

After spending more than a month in orbit on the dark side of dwarf planet Ceres, NASA's Dawn spacecraft has captured several views of the sunlit north pole of this intriguing world. These images were taken ...

A blueprint for clearing the skies of space debris

Apr 17, 2015

An international team of scientists have put forward a blueprint for a purely space-based system to solve the growing problem of space debris. The proposal, published in Acta Astronautica, combines a super-wide field-of-view telesc ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.