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Galileo satellites arrive at Europe’s Spaceport


Flown from Liège Airport in Belgium on an Ilyushin cargo provider, Galileo satellites 27-28 touched down in Cayenne – Félix Eboué Airport within the night of 6 October 2020. The 2 satellites, every in their very own transport container, had been positioned on lorries and pushed to Europe’s Spaceport. Credit: ESA-P. Muller

The newest pair of Galileo satellites have touched down at Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana, forward of their launch collectively subsequent month.

Cocooned safely inside environmentally managed containers, the satellites had been carried throughout the Atlantic aboard an Ilyushin cargo provider. The satellites left ESA’s ESTEC Check Centre in Noordwijk, the Netherlands, on Tuesday morning heading for Liège Airport in Belgium. From right here they flew to Cayenne in French Guiana by way of a cease in Oporto Airport in Portugal, arriving at their remaining vacation spot on Wednesday night native time.

As soon as unloaded from the plane, the satellites had been then pushed by way of the tropical nightfall to the cleanroom environment of the spaceport close by Kourou, the place they may very well be safely unpacked to start the satellite launch marketing campaign.

These two satellites are the primary of the final batch of Galileo First Technology satellites, referred to as ‘Batch 3’, made up of 12 satellites in all. They’re constructed by OHB SE in Bremen, Germany, with their navigation and search and rescue payloads contributed by Surrey Satellite tv for pc Expertise Ltd in Guildford within the UK.

Earlier than being cleared for launch, the satellites have gone by way of rigorous testing at ESA’s ESTEC Check Centre, the most important satellite tv for pc take a look at facility in Europe—their final cease earlier than flying to South America.

Galileo satellites arrive at Europe’s Spaceport
Galileos 27-28 seen atop their gold-wrapped Fregat higher stage inside their Soyuz launcher fairing. Credit: ESA-P. Carril

These two satellites shall be launched collectively aboard a Soyuz launcher from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana. The launcher incorporates a Fregat upper stage, which can carry them to their deliberate 23 222 km altitude medium-Earth orbit.

These satellites will add to the 26-satellite Galileo constellation already in orbit and delivering Preliminary Providers across the globe.

Subsequent month’s lift-off would be the eleventh Galileo launch in 10 years. Two additional launches are deliberate for subsequent yr, to permit Galileo to succeed in Full Operational Functionality in its supply of providers, to be adopted by the launches of the remainder of the Batch 3 satellites that are presently all present process pre-flight testing.

In parallel to Batch 3’s completion of Galileo First Technology deployment, the brand new Galileo Second Technology satellites, that includes enhanced navigation indicators and capabilities, are already in growth with their deployment anticipated to start by 2024.

  • Galileo satellites arrive at Europe’s Spaceport
    Galileos 27-28 pictured throughout their ascent to orbit on their Soyuz launcher. The satellites are protected by a launch fairing, however as soon as the Soyuz has handed by way of the environment, this fairing can then be ejected. Credit: ESA P. Carril
  • Galileo satellites arrive at Europe’s Spaceport
    The entire Galileo constellation will include 24 satellites alongside three orbital planes, plus two spare satellites per orbit. The end result shall be Europe’s largest-ever fleet, offering worldwide navigation protection. Credit: ESA-P. Carril

Galileo is presently the world’s most exact satellite tv for pc navigation system, serving greater than two billion customers across the globe.


Galileo in place for launch


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