Raumfahrt - Start von Arianespace Sojus-Flight VS09 mit Galileo-Navigations-Satelliten



Separate fit check processes for the initial two initial Galileo Full Operational Capability satellites are shown in the photos above. The Flight Model #1 (FM1) spacecraft is moved for positioning on the payload dispenser; while Flight Model #2 (FM2) is shown integrated to the side of the RUAG Space Sweden-developed dispenser in the next photo.
Soyuz Flight VS09
The first two Galileo Full Operational Capability (FOC) satellites are a confirmed “fit” for their Arianespace Soyuz launch later in 2014 after making initial contact with the medium-lift mission’s dual-payload dispenser in French Guiana.
This week’s activity – called the fit check – was completed over a two-day period inside the Spaceport’s S1A payload preparation building. The two satellites were installed separately, with the Flight Model #1 (FM1) spacecraft integrated on, and subsequently removed from, the dispenser on Monday, followed the next day by the same process for Flight Model #2 (FM2).
The payload dispenser for Galileo was developed by RUAG Space Sweden for Arianespace, and is to carry the Full Operational Capability satellites in a side-by-side arrangement. It will deploy the spacecraft – which were built by Germany-based OHB System – during their Soyuz launch by firing a pyrotechnic separation system to release them in opposite directions at the orbital insertion point.
Final integration on the dispenser is to be performed during future processing at the Spaceport, and will be followed by the completed unit’s installation on Soyuz. These spacecraft will be the latest launched by Arianespace from French Guiana for the European satellite navigation system, following four Galileo In-Orbit Validation (IOV) spacecraft previously orbited on two Soyuz missions: a pair on Flight VS01 in October 2011, and two more on Flight VS03 in October 2012.
As Europe’s initiative for satellite navigation, the Galileo program provides a highly accurate global positioning system under civilian control – consisting of 30 satellites, along with European control centers and a worldwide network of sensor and uplink stations.
Galileo’s complete operational and ground infrastructure will be deployed during the Full Operational Capability phase, which is managed and funded by the European Commission. The European Space Agency has been delegated as the design and procurement agent on the Commission’s behalf.
The Soyuz mission with Galileo’s two Full Operational Capability satellites is designated VS09 in Arianespace’s numbering system, signifying the workhorse vehicle’s ninth liftoff from French Guiana to date.
Quelle arianespace
Update: 9.08.2014

Galileo’s initial two Full Operational Capability satellites are fueled for launch on Arianespace’s medium-lift Soyuz

The latest two SATELLITES to be launched by Arianespace for Europe’s Galileo navigation system are being fueled at the Spaceport in French Guiana, readying them for this month’s Soyuz mission.
Named “Doresa” and “Milena,” both spacecraft are in the Spaceport’s S5 payload preparation building, where they are being “topped off” with the onboard fuel load. Their liftoff is scheduled for August 21 on Arianespace Flight VS09 – the company’s ninth mission of its medium-lift workhorse launcher performed from French Guiana.
These are the first FOC (Full Operational Capability) SATELLITESfor the Galileo constellation, which will create a European-operated space-based navigation system providing highly accurate, guaranteed global positioning services.   Galileo’s FOC phase is being funded and executed by the European Union, which has designated the European Space Agency as the system’s development and sourcing agent.
“Doresa” and “Milena” were built in Bremen, Germany by FOC prime contractor OHB System, and are named for children who were among those WINNING a European Commission-organized painting competition in 2011.  The spacecraft payloads, which will generate precision positioning measurements and services to users worldwide, were supplied by Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. in Guildford, UK.
This month’s FLIGHT VS09 will be the latest launch in Galileo’s overall system development, which began with the lofting of two GIOVE (Galileo In-Orbit Validation Element) satellites in December 2005 and April 2008 on Soyuz missions operated by Arianespace’s Starsem affiliate from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. 
It was followed by four Galileo satellites used for the system’s In-Orbit Validation (IOV) phase, launched in pairs on Soyuz FLIGHTSperformed by Arianespace from French Guiana in October 2011 and October 2012.  Lofted on the historic first and third flights conducted with Soyuz at the Spaceport, these four IOV spacecraft enabled testing of the full Galileo system, clearing the way for the FOC phase.
The complete Galileo constellation is to be composed of 27 operational satellites and three reserves, distributed along three circular medium Earth ORBIT planes at an altitude of 23,222 km., inclined 56 deg. to the equator.  By being interoperable with the existing U.S. GPS and Russian Glonass navigation systems, Galileo will become another cornerstone in global satellite navigation. 
Galileo will function under civilian control and allows position locating to be determined accurately for most places on Earth, even in cities where high-rise buildings can obscure signals from satellites that appear low on the horizon. This is because the overall number of available Galileo satellites is more than doubled, and the spacecraft are situated in orbits at a greater inclination to the equatorial plane than GPS – giving better coverage at high latitudes, including northern Europe.
Quelle: arianespace
Update: 11.08.2014

Payload integration begins for Arianespace’s next Soyuz mission with Galileo spacecraft

The first of two Galileo navigation satellites to be orbited on Arianespace’s August 21 Soyuz FLIGHT has been integrated on its payload dispenser system, marking a key step as preparations advance for this medium-lift mission from French Guiana.
Named “Doresa,” the spacecraft was installed this month during activity inside the Spaceport’s S5A integration hall. It is to be joined on the DISPENSER system by the mission’s other passenger – “Milena,” whose own installation is forthcoming – in a side-by-side arrangement.
“Doresa” and “Milena” – both built by OHB System – are the first FOC (Full Operational Capability) SATELLITES for the Galileo constellation, which will create a European-operated space-based navigation system providing highly accurate, guaranteed global positioning services.
The FOC phase is being funded and executed by the European Union, with the European Space Agency designated as the Galileo system’s DEVELOPMENT and sourcing agent. The spacecraft payloads, which will generate precision positioning measurements and services to users worldwide, were supplied by Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. in Guildford, UK.
Designated VS09 in Arianespace’s numbering system, the August 21 flight will be performed from the purpose-built ZLS launch facility for Soyuz – located in the Spaceport’s northern sector near the city of Sinnamary.
Next week’s mission continues Arianespace’s support in the overall Galileo system development. The company’s Starsem AFFILIATE lofted two GIOVE (Galileo In-Orbit Validation Element) satellites in December 2005 and April 2008 on Soyuz missions conducted from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
These was followed by four Galileo SATELLITES used for the system’s In-Orbit Validation (IOV) phase, launched in pairs on Soyuz flights performed by Arianespace from French Guiana in October 2011 and October 2012. 
Quelle: arianespace
Update: 19.08.2014

Soyuz is in the launch zone for its August 21 mission to loft the first two Galileo FOC satellites

The photo shows the basic three-stage Soyuz being transferred by rail in a horizontal position from the MIK assembly facility to the launch zone, while  the medium-lift workhorse has been raised into a vertical orientation as the mobile gantry – which provides protection during the “upper composite’s” integration – is moved into position.
Soyuz Flight VS09
Arianespace’s medium-lift workhorse is “standing tall” in French Guiana – and ready for its Galileo payload – following Soyuz’ transfer at the vehicle’s dedicated Spaceport launch complex today.
With the rollout and vertical positioning of the basic three-stage vehicle over the launch pad, Arianespace’s Soyuz marked another step toward its August 21 mission to deploy the first two FOC (Full Operational Capability) satellites for Europe’s Galileo space-based navigation system.
In procedures that have become familiar in French Guiana, Soyuz was moved via a transport/erector rail car in a horizontal-transfer process from the MIK launcher assembly facility to the Soyuz launch zone. Once over the launch pad in the Spaceport’s northwestern sector, Soyuz was erected into a vertical orientation, where it is suspended by four large support arms.
With this step complete the mobile gantry was moved into position over the launcher, providing protection for the subsequent installation of Soyuz’ “upper composite” – including the Galileo spacecraft and their dispenser system, the Fregat upper stage and payload fairing.
The Galileo program will create a European-operated navigation system providing highly accurate global positioning services through a constellation of 27 operational satellites and three reserves. The European Commission is funding and executing the FOC phase, with the European Space Agency designated as the system’s development and sourcing agent.
As the latest launch in Galileo’s deployment, Thursday’s Flight VS09 – which is Arianespace’s ninth Soyuz mission from the Spaceport – is scheduled for liftoff at precisely 9:31:14 a.m. local time in French Guiana. Soyuz previously orbited four Galileo IOV (In-Orbit Validation) spacecraft in pairs on missions in 2011 and 2012, as well as two GIOVE (Galileo In-Orbit Validation Element) satellites on flights operated by Arianespace’s Starsem affiliate in 2005 and 2008.
In separate activity at the Spaceport’s S3B facility, the Galileo mission logos have been applied to the payload fairing – which encapsulates this mission’s two-satellite payload and their dispenser system.
Quelle: arianespace
Update: 20.08.2014
THE LAUNCH READINESS REVIEW (RAL) took place in Kourou on Wednesday August 20, 2014 and authorized count-down operations for the Soyuz ST-B – Galileo sat 5-6 launch.
On the ninth Soyuz launch from the Guiana Space Center, Arianespace will continue the deployment of the Galileo constellation. The first two Galileo FOC (Full Operational Capacity), satellites 5 and 6, are built by prime contractor OHB Systems , while the satellite platforms are supplied by Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd.
With the Soyuz, Ariane 5 and Vega launchers at the Guiana Space Center (CSG), Arianespace is the only launch services provider in the world capable of launching all types of payloads into all orbits, from the smallest to the largest geostationary satellites, from satellite clusters for constellations to cargo missions for the International Space Station (ISS).
The launch will be from the Soyuz Launch Site (ELS) at the Guiana Space Center, French Guiana.
Liftoff is scheduled for Thursday, August 21, 2014 at exactly:
09:31:14 am local time in French Guiana
08:31:14 am in Washington, D.C.
12 31:14 pm UTC 
02:31:14 pm in Paris 
04:31:14 pm in Moscow
Quelle: ESA
Update: 21.08.2014
Start wegen Wetter verschoben
Arianespace Flight VS09 > Galileo FOC-M1 satellites 5 – 6: Launch postponed
Kourou, August 21, 2014
The weather conditions being unfavourable over the Guiana Space Center, Arianespace has decided to postpone the launch of the Soyuz ST-B. Flight VS09 will place into orbit the first two operational Galileo satellites.
Another launch date will be decided depending on the evolution of the weather conditions in Kourou.
Quelle: arianespace
Update: 22.08.2014
Arianespace Flight VS09 is rescheduled for tomorrow, August 22
A favorable trend in weather conditions is forecasted for tomorrow over the Guiana Space Center, Europe’s Spaceport. Therefore, Arianespace has decided to restart the countdown for Flight VS09, which will be performed using a Soyuz ST-B launch vehicle. This mission is to orbit the Galileo constellation’s first two operational satellites.
The launch is now scheduled for tomorrow, August 22, 2014, at exactly:
09:27:11 a.m.  (local time in French Guiana), 
08:27:11 a.m. (Washington, DC),
12:27:11 p.m. (UTC), 
02:27:11 p.m. (Paris), and
04:27:11 p.m. (Moscow)
Quelle: arianespace
Update: 23.00 MESZ

Success at the service of Europe: Arianespace's Soyuz orbits the first two Galileo FOC satellites


August 22, 2014 – Soyuz VS09

Arianespace’s workhorse Soyuz vehicle marked another “mission accomplished” from French Guiana today – lofting two milestone Galileo spacecraft – as the company once again supported the space ambitions of Europe.

Lifting off from the Spaceport at precisely 9:27:11 a.m., the medium-lift Soyuz performed a successful mission of nearly 3 hours and 48 minutes to deploy “Doresa” and “Milena,” which are the first two FOC (Full Operational Capability) satellites for Europe’s Galileo navigation system.
After an initial powered phase of Soyuz’ three lower stages, Flight VS09 included two burns of the Fregat upper stage – separated by a three-plus-hour BALLISTIC phase – to place these two 700-kg.-class Galileo satellites at their targeted deployment point.
At full capability, the Galileo program will provide a European-operated navigation system to deliver highly accurate global positioning services through a satellite constellation in medium Earth orbit and its associated ground infrastructure. The European Commission is funding and executing Galileo’s FOC phase, with the European Space Agency (ESA) designated as the system’s development and sourcing agent.
Launching Europe’s space goals
During post-launch comments from the Spaceport, Arianespace Chairman and CEO Stéphane Israël said today’s mission reaffirms the company’s “raison d’être:” guaranteeing independent, reliable and available access to space for European governments and institutions.
“Arianespace and Soyuz have now provided new momentum to the Galileo constellation with the launch of the first two Full Operational Capability satellites,” Israël added.
The successful FLIGHT VS09 mission continues the key role of Arianespace – and Soyuz – in Galileo’s deployment.  This medium-lift workhorse lofted a total of four satellites in the program’s IOV (In-Orbit Validation) phase in 2011 and 2012, plus the initial two FOC platforms orbited today from the Spaceport; along with two GIOVE (Galileo In-Orbit Validation Element) satellites on separate FLIGHTS operated in 2005 and 2008 by the company’s Starsem affiliate from Kazakhstan’s Baikonur Cosmodrome.
Following a launch agreement signed this week at the Spaceport with ESA on the European Commission’s behalf, Arianespace will step up the navigation system’s deployment with 12 total satellites to be launched by three dedicated Ariane 5 ES vehicles from 2015 onwards.
As a result, all 22 spacecraft in this FOC series will be orbited on eight Arianespace missions – covering five Soyuz flights with two satellites each (including today’s VS09 success, and another liftoff scheduled at the beginning of December); along with three Ariane 5 launches, carrying clusters of four Galileo spacecraft each.
Didier Faivre, ESA Director of the Galileo Program and Navigation-Related Activities, thanked Arianespace for its excellent service with FLIGHTVS09, and also recognized the Russian industry team responsible for the Soyuz vehicle. 
In announcing that initial data was received from the two Galileo FOC satellites shortly after being deployed by Soyuz, Faivre added: “It was a wonderful [launch] campaign; you’ve seen the spirit of the team, which was perfect. We’re in good hands…and we’ll be back with the 20 satellites that are ahead of us to launch.”
Daniel Calleja Crespo, the European Commission’s Director General for Enterprise & Industry, said Arianespace’s mission success “turns a dream into reality” by marking a major step forward for the world’s first civilian-run global navigation system, which will serve European Union citizens and enterprises.  “This is truly an historic and emotional moment,” he added.
Along with Galileo, Arianespace’s contribution to Europe’s major space initiatives also includes the Copernicus Earth observation program, for which Soyuz lofted the first spacecraft – Sentinel-1A – in April of this year on FLIGHT VS07. The company has also been selected to loft Sentinel-1B on a Soyuz flight from French Guiana scheduled for 2016.
“I want to express my gratitude to the European Union and the European Commission for having chosen Arianespace as a key PARTNER for its ambitious Copernicus and Galileo flagship space programs,” Israël said.
Kicking off a new partnership
Doresa and Milena – named after the respective German and Estonian WINNERS of a European Commission children’s art competition – were built by prime-contractor OHB System of Germany, with the spacecraft’s navigation payloads supplied by the UK’s Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd.
Marking another “first” on today’s Soyuz FLIGHT VS09, these initial Galileo spacecraft were the first-ever OHB-built satellites lofted by Arianespace – a partnership that will continue to grow, as OHB System is responsible for building all 22 Galileo satellites in this series of the program’s FOC phase.
Following FLIGHT VS09, Arianespace has now operated seven successful flights in 2014 across its complete launcher family. This year’s activity to date includes three Soyuz and Ariane 5 flights each, along with one mission performed by Vega.
Continuing the mission pace
“Today, with this seventh launch of the year, Arianespace has taken another important step towards its operational objective for 2014,” Israël said. “I want to repeat our aim: delivering 12 launches from the Guiana Space Centre this year.  It is a very ambitious goal, but this goal is definitely reachable.  Thanks to all of the teams that are helping us reach this great objective.”
Announced following today’s launch, the company’s next mission – designated Ariane 5 FLIGHT VA218 – is a targeted for a September 11 liftoff with two passengers: Malaysia-based MEASAT’s MEASAT-3b, and the Optus 10 spacecraft for Australia’s Optus.
Soyuz ascends from its dedicated launch pad at the Spaceport on today’s Arianespace FLIGHT VS09, which successfully orbited the first two FOC (Full Operational Capability) satellites for Europe’s Galileo navigation system.
Arianespace’s video broadcast captures Soyuz in the morning sky as it flies downrange from the Spaceport with its dual-passenger Galileo payload following today's liftoff from French Guiana.
Quelle: arianespace
Update: 23.08.2014

Galileo satellites go into wrong, lower orbit - Esa

The Soyuz blasts off with two Galileo sat-nav spacecraft on Friday

The European Space Agency (Esa) says the latest two satellites for Europe's version of the American GPS satellite navigation system have not gone into the correct orbit.
However, it says the fifth and sixth satellites launched from French Guiana on Friday are under control.
THE AGENCY is examining the implications of the anomaly.
The satellites Doresa and Milena went up on a Soyuz rocket after a 24-hour delay because of bad weather.
"Observations taken after the separation of the satellites from the Soyuz VS09 (rocket) for the Galileo Mission show a gap between the orbit achieved and that which was planned," said launch service provider Arianespace, in a statement.
"They have been placed on a lower orbit than expected. Teams are studying the impact this could have on the satellites," it added.
Arianespace declined to comment on whether their trajectories could be corrected, the AFP news agency reports.
After years of delay, Galileo is now finally moving towards full deployment.
Esa, which is building the system on behalf of the EU, expects to have a 26-satellite constellation in orbit by 2017.
The EU is INVESTING billions in its sat-nav PROJECT.
It believes Galileo will bring significant returns to European economies in the form of new businesses that can exploit precise timing and location data delivered from orbit.
line break 
Galileo in orbit
Europe's Galileo system under construction
A project of the European Commission and the European Space Agency
30 satellites are likely to be launched in batches in the coming years
Galileo will work alongside GPS and the Russian Glonass systems
Full system promises real-time positioning down to a metre or less
It should deepen and extend high-value markets already initiated by GPS
Cost to DATE: 6bn euros (£4.8bn); budget set aside to 2020: 7bn euros
European GDP reliant now on GPS applications: 800bn euros per annum
Quelle: BBC
Following the announcement made by Arianespace on the anomalies of the orbit injection of the Galileo satellites, the teams of industries and agencies involved in the early operations of the satellites are investigating the potential implications on the mission.
Both satellites have been acquired and are safely controlled and operated from ESOC, ESA’s Operations Centre in Darmstadt, Germany.
Further information on the status of the satellites will be made available after the preliminary analysis of the situation.
Quelle: ESA
Update: 24.08.2014
Galileo satellites experience orbital injection anomaly
on Soyuz launch Initial report
On August 22, 2014, at 9:27 am local time in French Guiana, a Soyuz ST rocket lifted off with the first two satellites in the Galileo constellation.
The liftoff and first part of the mission proceeded nominally, leading to release of the satellites according to the planned timetable, and reception of signals from the satellites. It was only a certain time after the separation of the satellites that the ongoing analysis of the data provided by the telemetry stations operated by the European Space Agency (ESA) and the French space agency CNES showed that the satellites were not in the expected orbit.
The targeted orbit was circular, inclined at 55 degrees with a semi major axis of 29,900 kilometers. The satellites are now in an elliptical orbit, with excentricity of 0.23, a semi major axis of 26,200 km and inclined at 49.8 degrees.
Both the Fregat upper stage and the two satellites are in a stable condition and position that entails absolutely no risk for people on the ground. The residual propellants on the Fregat stage have been purged and the stage was depressurized normally. According to the initial analyses, an anomaly is thought to have occurred during the flight phase involving the Fregat upper stage, causing the satellites to be injected into a noncompliant orbit.
Studies and data analyses are continuing in Kourou, French Guiana, and at Arianespace headquarters in Evry, near Paris, under the direction of Stéphane Israël, Chairman and CEO of Arianespace, in conjunction with the Russian partners in the Soyuz in French Guiana program (Russian space agency Roscomos and the manufacturers RKTs-Progress and NPO Lavotchkine), as well as Arianespace's customer ESA and its industrial partners, to determine the scope of the anomaly and its impact on the mission. "Our aim is of course to fully understand this anomaly," said Stéphane Israël, Chairman and CEO of Arianespace. "Everybody at Arianespace is totally focused on meeting this objective. Starting Monday, Arianespace, in association with ESA and the European Commission, will designate an independent inquiry board to determine the exact causes of this anomaly and to draw conclusions and develop corrective actions that will allow us to resume launches of Soyuz from the Guiana Space Center (CSG) in complete safety and as quickly as possible. The board will coordinate its work with Russian partners in the Soyuz at CSG program. Arianespace is determined to help meet the European Union's goals for the Galileo program without undue delay. We would like to thank ESA, the European Commission and CNES for the very productive discussions since becoming aware of the occurrence of the anomaly. While it is too early to determine the exact causes, we would like to offer our sincere excuses to ESA and the European Commission for this orbital injection that did not meet expectations."
Quelle: arianespace
Update: 26.08.2014
VS09 flight: Arianespace names independent inquiry commission
Evry, August 25, 2014
Following the major anomaly that occurred on August 22, 2014 during the Soyuz ST mission carrying two satellites in the Galileo constellation, Arianespace announced today, in conjunction with the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Commission, the appointment of an independent inquiry commission.
The commission is chaired by Peter Dubock, former ESA Inspector General. Its mandate is to establish the circumstances of the anomaly, to identify the root causes and associated aggravating factors, and make recommendations to correct the identified defect and to allow for a safe return to flight for all Soyuz launches from the Guiana Space Center (CSG).
The commission will start its work on August 28, 2014 and submit its initial conclusions as early as September 8, 2014.
The inquiry commission comprises the following members:
Peter Dubock, former ESA Inspector General, Chairman
Professor Guido Colasurdo, University of Roma "Sapienza", full professor of flight mechanics
Michel Courtois, former ESA Technical Director
Paul Flament, European Commission, Head of Unit, Galileo and Egnos Programmes Management, DG for Entreprise and Industry.
Giuliano Gatti, ESA, Galileo Program Technical Officer
Professor Wolfgang Kubbat, former head of the Institute of Flight Systems and Automatic Control at the Technical University of Darmstadt
Isabelle Rongier, CNES Inspector General
Toni Tolker Nielsen, ESA Deputy Inspector General.
To maintain links with the Russian partners in the Soyuz at CSG program, the head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, on request from the head of Arianespace, has designated Alexander Daniliuk, Deputy Director General of TsNIImash, as board liaison.
Arianespace Chairman and CEO Stéphane Israël said: "I would like to thank Peter Dubock for having accepted the chairmanship of this commission, which was appointed in conjunction with ESA and the European Commission and with the support of the space agencies from France (CNES), Germany (DLR) and Italy (ASI), along with a team of high-level European experts. The commission will now be able to carry out its work independently, operating under a very tight schedule. We sincerely hope that the commission's recommendations will lead to a rapid resumption of missions, while ensuring the high reliability expected of our Soyuz launches from CSG."
Quelle: arianespace
Update: 28.08.2014
Operations continue smoothly for Galileo Sat 5-6. Both satellites now have both sets of their solar arrays fully deployed and generating power.
The satellites are safely under control, despite having been released on a lower and elliptical orbit instead of the expected circular orbit on 22 August.
The European ground teams deployed at ESA’s control centre ESOC in Darmstadt, Germany, in cooperation with satellite manufacturer OHB, confirm that both satellites are in a safe state, correctly pointing to the sun, properly powered and fully under control of the ESA-CNES integrated team.
Controllers are ready to proceed to the next stage of the launch and early operations phase activities.
In parallel ESA teams are investigating the possibilities of exploiting the satellites to maximum advantage, despite their non-nominal injection orbits and within the limited propulsion capabilities. Different scenarios will then be assessed before decisions are taken for a recovery mission.
About Galileo
Galileo is Europe's own global satellite navigation system. It will consist of 30 satellites and their ground infrastructure.
The definition, development and In-Orbit Validation (IOV) phase of the Galileo programme were carried out by ESA and co-funded by ESA and the European Commission. This phase created a mini-constellation of four satellites and a reduced ground segment dedicated to validating the overall concept.The four satellites launched during IOV are the nucleus of the constellation that will then be extended to reach the Full Operational Capability (FOC). 
The Full Operational Capability (FOC) phase is fully funded by the European Commission. The Commission and ESA have signed a delegation agreement by which ESA acts as design and procurement agent on behalf of the Commission.
Quelle: ESA
Galileo Satellites Incident Likely Result of Software Errors
MOSCOW, The failure of the European Union’s Galileo satellites to reach their intended orbital position was likely caused by software errors in the Fregat-MT rocket’s upper-stage, Russian newspaper Izvestia reported Thursday.
“The nonstandard operation of the integrated management system was likely caused by an error in the embedded software. As a result, the upper stage received an incorrect flight assignment, and, operating in full accordance with the embedded software, it has delivered the units to the wrong destination,” an unnamed source from Russian space Agency Roscosmos was quoted as saying by the newspaper.
Both the upper-stage and the software for it were developed by a Moscow-based government-owned corporation, the Academician Pilyugin Scientific-production Center of Automatics and Instrument-Making, or the Academician Pilyugin Center.
On August 22, the launch of Galileo’s Full Operational Capability (FOC) satellites aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket took place at the European Union’s spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. The satellites, which are part to the Galileo program, designed to provide a European alternative to the American GPS and Russian Glonass navigation systems, have been placed in a lower orbit than expected.
The Arianespace satellite launch company, the European Space Agency (ESA) and Roscosmos are currently investigating the incident.
Quelle: RIA Novost
Update: 8.10.2014
Soyuz Flight VS09: Independent Inquiry Board announces definitive conclusions concerning the Fregat upper stage anomaly
Evry, October 8, 2014
The Independent Inquiry Board formed to analyze the causes of the anomaly occurring during the orbital injection of satellites in the Galileo constellation by a Soyuz rocket launched from the Guiana Space Center on August 22 announced its definitive conclusions on Tuesday, October 7, 2014 following a meeting at Arianespace headquarters in Evry, near Paris.
The Board was created on August 25, 2014 by Arianespace, in conjunction with the European Space Agency and the European Commission. It is chaired by Peter Dubock, former inspector-general of ESA. Its conclusions draw on data supplied by Russian partners in the program, and are consistent with the final conclusions of the inquiry board appointed by the Russian space agency Roscosmos.
The Board's conclusions confirm that the first part of the mission proceeded nominally, which means that the three-stage Soyuz launcher was not at fault.
The Inquiry Board also eliminated the hypothesis that the anomaly could have been caused by the abnormal behavior of the Galileo satellites.
The anomaly occurred during the flight of the launcher's fourth stage, Fregat, designed and produced by NPO Lavochkin. It occurred about 35 minutes after liftoff, at the beginning of the ballistic phase preceding the second ignition of this stage.
The scenario that led to an anomaly in the orbital injection of the satellites was precisely reconstructed, as follows:
The orbital error resulted from an error in the thrust orientation of the main engine on the Fregat stage during its second powered phase.
This orientation error was the result of the loss of inertial reference for the stage.
This loss occurred when the stage's inertial system operated outside its authorized operating envelope, an excursion that was caused by the failure of two of Fregat's attitude control thrusters during the preceeding ballistic phase.
This failure was due to a temporary interruption of the joint hydrazine propellant supply to these thrusters.
The interruption in the flow was caused by freezing of the hydrazine.
The freezing resulted from the proximity of hydrazine and cold helium feed lines, these lines being connected by the same support structure, which acted as a thermal bridge.
Ambiguities in the design documents allowed the installation of this type of thermal "bridge" between the two lines. In fact, such bridges have also been seen on other Fregat stages now under production at NPO Lavochkin.
The design ambiguity is the result of not taking into account the relevant thermal transfers during the thermal analyses of the stage system design.
The root cause of the anomaly on flight VS09 is therefore a shortcoming in the system thermal analysis performed during stage design, and not an operator error during stage assembly.
The system thermal analyses have been reexamined in depth to identify all areas concerned by this issue.
Given this identified and perfectly understood design fault, the Board has chosen the following corrective actions for the return to flight.
Revamp of the system thermal analysis.
Associated corrections in the design documents.
Modification of the documents for the manufacture, assembly, integration and inspection procedures of the supply lines.
These measures can easily and immediately be applied by NPO Lavochkin to the stages already produced, meaning that the Soyuz launcher could be available for its next mission from the Guiana Space Center as from December 2014.
Beyond theses corrective actions, sufficient for return to flight, NPO Lavotchkin will provide Arianespace with all useful information regarding Fregat’s design robustness, which is proven by 45 successful consecutive missions before this anomaly.
Following the announcement of the Independent Inquiry Board's conclusions, Stéphane Israël, Chairman and CEO of Arianespace, said: "I would first like to thank Peter Dubock,  who chaired the board. Their work, with the support of Russian partners, enabled the rapid identification of the root cause of the anomaly and the corrective measures to be applied. Since the corrective measures are easy to deploy by NPO Lavochkin, we are looking at the resumption of Soyuz launches from the Guiana Space Center, as early as December 2014. The resolution of this anomaly will enable a consolidation of the reliability of Fregat, which had experienced 45 consecutive successes until this mission."
Quelle: arianespace

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