GNSS Satellite (GIOVE-A)


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Tuesday, 25 October 2011

GALILEO IOV Launch Successful

The first two GALILEO In Orbit Validation (IOV) satellites have been launched successfully from the European Space Port in Kourou, French Guyana, on Friday October 21, 2011. This launch was a double success as besides being the very first true GALILEO launch it was also the first launch of a Soyuz rocket from Kourou. Despite all these "firsts", which is always a bit exciting in the aerospace industry, everything worked picture prefect. The satellites were injected into the planned orbits.

The satellite are now in what is called the Launch and Early Orbit Phase (LEOP). Currently the satellites are slowly drifting towards their orbital positions and therefore also drifting apart. To get their relative positions correct the two satellites will have to be separated by 40 degrees in their argument of latitude. This will take a couple of days of "drifting" to accomplish. After this drifting phase both satellites will make a number of small manoeuvres to get into their nominal orbit position with very high accuracy. Once in their nominal orbits the GALILEO satellites are expected to need at most one station keeping manoeuvre in their nominal life time of 20 years.

At long last Europe has become one of the players in the GNSS field! Personally I am very much looking forward to working with the first observational data of these brand new satellites which mark a new era for the GNSS industry.

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Thursday, 20 October 2011

GALILEO IOV Launch delayed....

The GALILEO IOV launch has been delayed by 24 hours. No information on the cause if this delay. Will keep you posted!

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Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Upcoming GALILEO IOV Launch

At long last the launch of the first two real GALILEO satellites is near. This Thursday, October 20, 2011, the first real GALILEO satellites will be launched. This phase of the GALILEO developments is called the "IOV" phase which stands for "In Orbit Validation".

An interesting feature of this launch is that although it is from Kourou it is not with an Arianne launcher. The launch is with a Soyuz rocket and this is actually the very first Soyuz launch from Kourou. So a number of firsts are coming together, so lets keep our fingers crossed that all goes smooth!

For detailed information please look at the ESA web-site.
Special ESA IOV website.

Live coverage of launch will be supplied on the ESA website and a number of other websites, e.g., European parlement and DLR Oberpfaffenhofen

GALILEO IOV Artist Impression Picture from European Space Agency (ESA)

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