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Upper stage fuelled in prep for next Galileo launch

 
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Darren
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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2016 9:06 am    Post subject: Upper stage fuelled in prep for next Galileo launch Reply with quote

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The Fregat upper stage of the Soyuz launcher, that will lift VS15 with the next two Galileo satellites into orbit on May 24th, has been fuelled at Arianspace's Spaceport processing facility.

Fregat, built by by NPO Lavochkin, is used to inject the two satellites into their geosynchronous orbits. Its propulsion systems are capable of being restarted and in a Galileo orbit insertion Fregat performs an initial burn followed by a three hour ballistic coast before a final ignition to reach a circular orbit at which point the two Galileo satellites separate.

Regular readers will recall that it was a problem with this stage during the VS09 launch that lead to the partial loss of Galileo-FOC FM1 and Galileo-FOC FM1 satellites. An independent enquiry board traced the cause to a design failure which resulted thruster propellant line freezing. The design has since been modified to prevent this recurring.

The upper stage will now be integrated with its payload, the latest two full operational capability (FOC) satellites Galileo-FOC FM10 and Galileo-FOC FM11 before the payload fairing is attached ahead of the May 24th launch. VS15 will be followed by two more launches this year bringing the 2016 launch total to six Galileo satellites.

Source: www.esa.int

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