Kourou, 06.04.2016. The next two Galileo FOC* satellites (Danielè and Alizée) designed and built by OHB System AG for the European Navigation System, have arrived safe and sound at the launch site in Kourou (French Guiana). The Launch of the next two satellites is scheduled for May 24, 2016. OHB System is industrial prime for the European Space Agency ESA for 22 Galileo-FOC satellites.
Before their departure, the two new arrivals were subjected to a series of tests, first in the company’s clean-room facility in Bremen and finally in ESA’s testing facility in the Dutch town of Noordwijk. „We have proven that both of our satellites will be able to withstand the anticipated loads arising during launch and during transfer to their target orbit and cope with the harsh conditions existing in space on a long-term basis,” explains OHB Navigation Director Dr. Wolfgang Paetsch.
„Eight satellites from OHB are already in space and have demonstrated their functional capabilities and their full performance“, reports Dr. Ingo Engeln, member of OHB System Management Board. “And we are well within schedule for the rest of the satellites.”
The next launch, will be carried out by Arianespace from the Guyana Space Center in French Guyana, within the scope of the company’s contract with the European Space Agency (ESA). It will orbit two FOC (Full Operational Capability) satellites, and precedes Arianespace’s already scheduled launch of four Galileo satellites on an Ariane 5 ES during the fourth quarter of 2016. With these two launches, six new Galileo satellites will be deployed in 2016, as in 2015, bringing the total number in the Galileo-constellation to 18 by the end of the year.
Each of the Galileo satellites is named after one of the children who won the painting competition organized by the European Commission in 2011. At the production stations in the large OHB clean-room in Bremen there is a plaque emblazoned with the name of the satellite which is currently under construction.
* The FOC (full operational capability) phase of the Galileo program is being funded and executed by the European Union. The European Commission and the European Space Agency ESA have signed a contract under which ESA acts as the development and sourcing agency on behalf of the Commission. The view expressed here does not necessarily reflect the official position of the European Union and/or ESA. Galileo is a registered trademark owned by the EU and ESA and registered under OHIM application number 002742237.