Arianespace Soyuz Launches Twin Galileo GPS Satellites – Satellite Today


The Galileo FOC (Full Operational Capability) satellites  “Milena” (right) and “Doresa” (left). Photo: Arianespace

**Update: On Saturday Aug. 23, 2014, Arianespace discovered that the satellites were injected into the wrong orbit. Further details will come soon.**

[Via Satellite 08-22-2014] Following a one-day weather-induced delay, Arianespace has launched Galileo satellites 5 and 6 for the European Space Agency (ESA). A Soyuz rocket carried the spacecraft to Medium Earth Orbit (MEO), deploying them 3 hours and 47 minutes after liftoff.

ESA and the CNES, the French Space Agency, will conduct initial checks prior to handing control over to the Galileo Control Center in Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany, and the Galileo in-orbit Testing facility in Redu, Belgium where they will undergo additional testing prior to entering operational service this fall.

With six GPS satellites already in orbit, ESA plans to up its launch pace to six to eight Galileo satellites per year starting next year. The final constellation is to consist of 30 satellites, including in-orbit spares. Completion is expected by 2017.

The post Arianespace Soyuz Launches Twin Galileo GPS Satellites appeared first on Via Satellite.

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