Home >> News: November 2nd, 2015 >> Story
Satnews Daily
November 2nd, 2015

Arianespace's Record Year Ends w/Lucky 13 Soyuz Mission Launch Of Galileos x 2

One of the two containers with Galileo satellites for Arianespace’s upcoming Soyuz mission is unloaded from the cargo jetliner after its touchdown at Cayenne’s Félix Eboué Airport.

[Satnews] It's the end of a record year for Arianespace with the last launch consisting of two more for the Galileo. 

The satellites for Arianespace’s 12th flight in 2015—which will close out the company’s record year of launch activity—have arrived in French Guiana with delivery of the latest two European Galileo navigation platforms to be lofted by Soyuz.

Galileo is Europe’s own global navigation satellite system, providing a highly accurate, guaranteed global positioning service under civilian control. It is interoperable with GPS and Glonass, the US and Russian global satellite navigation systems. By offering dual frequencies as standard, Galileo is set to deliver real-time positioning accuracy down to the metre range.

These spacecraft landed at Cayenne’s Félix Eboué Airport aboard a chartered freighter jetliner, and were transferred via road to the Spaceport’s S1 payload preparation facility for checkout.

Scheduled for mid-December, the upcoming medium-lift Soyuz mission with its pair of Galileo satellites will conclude Arianespace’s busiest launch activity year ever involving all three members of its launcher family—which also includes the heavy-lift Ariane 5 and lightweight Vega.

The December Soyuz launch is designated Flight VS13, signifying the medium-lift workhorse’s 13th mission from French Guiana since its service entry at the Spaceport in October 2011. To support the growing Galileo constellation, Soyuz is fitted with a vertical dispenser that accommodates the two navigation satellites deployed on each mission.

The European Commission manages and funds Galileo’s current FOC (Full Operational Capability) phase, with the European Space Agency delegated as the design and procurement agent on the Commission’s behalf.