[Via Satellite 12-24-2014] The European Space Agency (ESA) received the Flight Model 6 (FM06) Galileo navigation satellite at the European Space Research and Technology Center (ESTEC) in the Netherlands. The satellite brings to four the number currently at ESTEC as ESA prepares for future launches.
There are currently six Galileo satellites in orbit. ESA launched the satellites two at a time in 2011, 2012 and 2014. The most recent Arianespace Soyuz launch delivered the latest two satellites into the wrong orbit due to a malfunctioning upper stage, however ESA was able to raise the fifth satellite’s orbit to allow checking of its navigation payload.
ESTEC officials have completed the acceptance testing for FM03 and FM04, and recently completed FM05’s thermal vacuum trial. FM05 will proceed through radiofrequency testing after Christmas. The latest arrival, FM06, will undergo thermal vacuum testing in January.
OHB in Germany is building 22 Full Operational Capability (FOC) satellites with navigation payloads from SSTL in the United Kingdom. ESA and the European Commission are currently planning the launch schedule for Galileo.