July 20, 2018, Kourou / Bremen. All systems are go for the final four Galileo FOC satellites assembled by Bremen-based satellite engineering company OHB System AG under the second batch awarded by ESA. This is the result of yesterday’s launch readiness review (LRR) completed at Centre Spatial Guyanais (CSG) in Kourou, where the navigation satellites will be placed in orbit on board an Ariane 5 launcher next Wednesday, July 25, 2018.
And not only the satellites are ready: At the LRR, all the involved parties from the ground segment, rocket, infrastructure and satellites areas came together one week before launch to report on the current state of the launch preparations. They confirm that everything is on schedule. “This has been one of the best launch campaigns we have ever had. We are now a very well rehearsed team. We are eagerly awaiting the launch,” says OHB project manager Dr. Manuel Czech. Since the arrival of the first two satellites at the beginning of May as well as the last two satellites from Batch 2 at the beginning of June, the local OHB team has been conducting numerous tests and preparations. “With this, the eighth launch campaign in four years, we have managed to maximize efficiency and continuously improve our capabilities,” says Manuel Czech.
Named Tara, Samuel, Anna and Ellen in a painting competition for children, the four satellites have already been mounted on the launch vehicle and are now concealed from view under the fairing. Next Monday, the launching base holding the finished Ariane 5 will be rolled to the launch pad on rails, pulled by a truck in slow-motion speed. The launch is scheduled for 8:24 hours local time (13.24 hours CET) on Wednesday, July 25, 2018. “For me, things will continue with Batch 4 for which the bidding phase has just begun. Meanwhile, my colleague Kristian Pauly is in charge of Batch 3. I wish him and the entire Galileo team at OHB and our partners every success in completing the next 12 satellites for Batch 3, with which OHB was awarded in the third bidding phase,” adds Czech.
“18 identical satellites assembled by OHB System AG are already in orbit. They have all demonstrated their full functional capabilities and are making a key contribution to ensuring that the citizens of Europe and worldwide are already receiving improved signals on their navigation devices. Obviously, the same thing also applies to international search and rescue services. We are very proud to be able to continue contributing to this important major European project. I would like to thank all OHB employees who have contributed to the successful completion of our satellites and will continue to do so in the future,” Dr. Wolfgang Paetsch, the member of OHB System AG’s Management Board responsible for navigation.
* The Full Operational Capability phase of the Galileo programme is managed and fully funded by the European Union. The European Commission and the European Space Agency (ESA) have signed a delegation agreement by which ESA acts as design and procurement agent on behalf of the Commission. The views expressed here can in no way be taken to reflect the official opinion of the European Union and/or ESA. Galileo is a trademark of the EU.