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Raumfahrt - Start von Ariane-V-VA-240 mit Galileo Satelliten

15.09.2017

The Ariane 5 for Arianespace’s next Galileo mission arrives at the Spaceport

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The cryogenic main stage for Arianespace’s Flight VA240 is transported across the Spaceport after arriving in French Guiana aboard the MN Colibri roll-on/roll-off ship.

Elements for Arianespace’s Ariane 5 mission in December have been delivered to the Spaceport in French Guiana for the heavy-lift launcher’s second flight at the service of Europe’s Galileo global satellite navigation system.

These components arrived this month in French Guiana aboard the MN Colibri, which is one of two sea-going roll-on/roll-off ships that transport launcher hardware from Europe to the South American launch site for Arianespace’s family of launch vehicles.

The year-end launch will orbit four more Galileo spacecraft, to be deployed into medium Earth orbit from a dispenser system on the Ariane 5 ES launcher version equipped with a re-ignitable upper stage. Galileo is designed to provide a new European global satellite navigation system with precision positioning services under civilian control.

A December liftoff for Ariane 5 and its Galileo satellites

Designated Flight VA240 in Arianespace’s launcher family numbering system, the mission is targeted for December 12. As the latest mission carrying Galileo satellites, Flight VA240 is to be performed on behalf of the European Commission under a contract with the European Space Agency (ESA).

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The two half-shells for Ariane 5’s payload fairing enter the Spaceport aboard separate flatbed trucks. When assembled on Ariane 5, the fairing will protect Flight VA240’s Galileo satellites during the launcher’s ascent through the atmosphere’s denser layers.

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Galileo is funded by the European Union, with overall responsibility for management and implementation held by the European Commission. ESA is assigned design and development of the new generation of systems and infrastructure.

Arianespace already has launched 18 Galileo spacecraft, with four being orbited on a previous Ariane 5 mission (Flight VA233 in November 2016), and the others lofted by seven medium-lift Soyuz vehicles carrying two satellites each.

Quelle: arianespace

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Update: 3.10.2017

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Ankunft von Galileo Satelliten 19+20 bei Spaceport in French Guiana

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GALILEO PAIR ARRIVES IN FRENCH GUIANA

Galileo arrival

Europe’s next two Galileo navigation satellites have touched down in Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana ahead of the launch of a quartet by Ariane 5 at the end of this year.

Galileos 19 and 20 left Luxembourg Airport on a Boeing 747 cargo jet on the morning of 18 September, arriving at Cayenne – Félix Eboué Airport in French Guiana that evening.

Safely cocooned within protective air-conditioned containers, the pair were offloaded and driven to the cleanroom environment of the preparation building within the space centre.

This building will remain their home as preparations for their launch proceeds, with the next two Galileos due to join them later this month.

Satellite in container

The satellites join the first elements of their customised Ariane 5 at the centre – including its cryogenic main stage and half-shell payload fairing – which were delivered by ship the week before.

Galileo is Europe’s own satellite navigation system, providing an array of positioning, navigation and timing services to Europe and the world.

A further eight Galileo ‘Batch 3’ satellites were ordered last June, to supplement the 26 built so far.

Loaded onto lorry

With 18 satellites now in orbit, Galileo began initial services on 15 December, the first step towards full operations.

Further launches will continue to build the constellation, which will gradually improve performance and availability worldwide.

Quelle: ESA

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Update: 24.10.2017

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Unloading satellites
 

GALILEO IN PLACE FOR LAUNCH: THEN THERE WERE FOUR

Two more Galileo satellites have reached Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana, joining the first pair of navigation satellites and the Ariane 5 rocket due to haul the quartet to orbit this December.

Galileos 21 and 22 left Luxembourg Airport on a Boeing 747 cargo jet on the morning of 17 October, arriving at Cayenne – Félix Eboué Airport in French Guiana on the same day.

Resting within distinctive white air-conditioned containers, the satellites were driven to the cleanroom environment of the preparation building within the space centre.

Waiting for them there were Galileos 19 and 20, which arrived in September. 

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Inside aircraft

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The four satellites will be launched together in mid-December by a customised Ariane 5, the elements of which reached French Guiana last month by sea.

Galileo is Europe’s own satellite navigation system, providing an array of positioning, navigation and timing services to Europe and the world.

A further eight Galileo ‘Batch 3’ satellites were ordered last June, to supplement the 26 built so far.

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With 18 satellites now in orbit, Galileo began initial services on 15 December 2016, the first step towards full operations.

Further launches will continue to build the constellation, which will gradually improve performance and availability worldwide.

Quelle: ESA

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Update: 5.11.2017

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Four Galileo spacecraft are prepared for their December Ariane 5 launch

Payload processing for Arianespace’s second Ariane 5 mission in support of Europe’s Galileo global navigation system has reached full speed, with all four satellites now at the Spaceport.

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One of the latest-delivered Galileo satellites is removed from its protective shipping container inside the Spaceport’s S1A payload preparation facility.

Liftoff of Arianespace’s Ariane 5 with these satellites is targeted for December 12, coming after the heavy-lift workhorse’s previous flight at the service of Galileo, which successfully delivered four other spacecraft to medium-Earth circular orbit in November 2016.

The upcoming mission is designated Flight VA240 in Arianespace’s launcher family numbering system, denoting the 240th performed with an Ariane-series vehicle from the Spaceport. It also will be the company’s 11th and final launch in 2017, closing out a busy year of space lift activity.

A global navigation system for Europe 

As the latest mission carrying Galileo satellites, Flight VA240 is to be conducted on behalf of the European Commission under a contract with the European Space Agency (ESA). Galileo is funded by the European Union, with overall responsibility for management and implementation held by the European Commission. ESA is assigned design and development of the new generation of systems and infrastructure.

Arianespace already has launched a total of 18 Galileo spacecraft, including the four orbited by Ariane 5 in November 2016, plus the others lofted by seven preceding medium-lift Soyuz vehicles that carried two satellites each.

Quelle: arianespace

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Update: 17.11.2017

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Ariane 5 and its Galileo satellites are prepared for Arianespace’s December 12 mission

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Inside the Spaceport’s Launcher Integration Building, Ariane 5’s vehicle equipment bay is lowered atop the core cryogenic stage on Flight VA240’s Ariane 5 ES launcher version (left and center photos). This cleared the way for installation of the launch vehicle’s EPS storable propellant upper stage (at right). 

The Ariane 5 for Arianespace’s December 12 year-ending flight for 2017 has completed its initial build-up at the Spaceport in French Guiana – where preparations also are moving ahead with four satellite passengers that will further expand Europe’s Galileo global navigation system once in their final orbit.

During activity in the Spaceport’s Launcher Integration Building, this heavy-lift vehicle for Arianespace Flight VA240 underwent the assembly process that began by mating its two solid propellant strap-on boosters with the main cryogenic stage.

The next step was integration of Ariane 5’s vehicle equipment bay, which serves as the launch vehicle’s “brain,” providing autonomous control during the various mission phases.

The Ariane 5 ES difference

It was followed by installation of the EPS storable propellant stage, powered by a re-ignitable engine that operates with MMH and N2O4 propellants. This differentiates the Ariane 5 ES configuration from Arianespace’s Ariane 5 ECA version – which has a cryogenic upper stage and typically is used on Arianespace missions with telecommunications satellites to geostationary transfer orbits.

After completion of verifications and systems checkout by production prime contractor ArianeGroup, the Ariane 5 ES launch vehicle will be moved to the Spaceport’s Final Assembly Building for payload integration and readiness for rollout to the launch zone.

The mission’s ongoing payload preparations – which so far included the checkout and fit-check procedure for each of the four Galileo satellites – took place inside the Spaceport’s S1A processing facility. This involved a one-by-one verification of the spacecraft’s interface with the payload dispenser that will release them into circular orbit during the mission.

Galileo satellites checked…and fit

After the fit-check procedure in the S1A facility, the four satellites were readied for transfer to the S3B payload preparation center for fueling.

For Ariane 5’s December 12 mission, the heavy-lift vehicle will carry its quartet of Galileo satellites (weighing approximately 715 kg. each) and their dispenser system for a medium-Earth orbit deployment.

Galileo is the European initiative to develop a global satellite navigation system. Under civilian control, it will offer a guaranteed, high-precision positioning service. As a European Union-funded program, the Galileo constellation will comprise 24 operational satellites, along with spares.

Overall responsibility for Galileo’s management and implementation is held by the European Commission, with the European Space Agency assigned design and development of the new generation of systems and infrastructure.

Ariane 5’s mission with the four Galileo spacecraft will close out a busy year of launch activity for Arianespace, which has performed 10 missions from French Guiana so far in 2017 – all of which were successful. The flights to date involved five launches of the heavy-lift Ariane 5, two with the medium Soyuz and three with the lightweight Vega.

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In the Spaceport’s S1A clean room facility, three of the four Galileo satellites for Flight VA240 are prepared for their fit-check with the mission’s payload dispenser (left). At right, one of the spacecraft undergoes the fit-check process.

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Quelle: arianespace

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Update: 22.11.2017

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GALILEO QUARTET FUELLED AND READY TO FLY

Satellites and dispenser
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Europe’s next four Galileo navigation satellites and the Ariane 5 rocket due to lift them into orbit are being readied for their 12 December launch from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.

Tuesday saw Galileo satellites 19–22 declared ready for flight, along with their Ariane. Combined activities are now under way, culminating in the satellites meeting their rocket in the Final Assembly Building.

The satellites were flown in pairs to French Guiana last month. Once safely unboxed in the Spaceport’s cleanroom environment, they were tested to ensure they had suffered no damage during their transatlantic flights.

Next came their ‘fit check’, when they were mechanically and electrically linked one by one to the dispenser that will carry them during their ascent to the target 23 500 km-altitude orbit, before releasing them into space.

Four Galileos on Ariane 5

Last Friday saw the satellites filled with enough fuel to fine-tune their orbits and orientation during their projected 12 year working lives. Next, they will be attached to their dispenser together for the final time.

In parallel, their customised Ariane 5 is being assembled. Two solid-propellant boosters were mated with its main cryogenic stage before the addition of the interstage that carries the electronics to control the vehicle.

Next came the addition of the storable propellant stage, powered by a reignitable engine, which will deliver the quartet to their target orbit. 

Ariane 5 taking shape

Once fully checked, the Ariane will be moved to the final building for the addition of the satellites atop their dispenser, sealed within their protective fairing.

This launch will bring the total Galileo constellation to 22, boosting the global availability of navigation signals. Galileo began Initial Services just under a year ago, the first step before full operations, on 15 December.

 

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