The European Space Agency (ESA) will be launching a second pair of Galileo IOV satellites tomorrow from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana.
The satellites will ride a Soyuz ST-B rocket from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana. Launch is scheduled for 18:15:00 GMT (20:15:00 CEST) October 12. Live streaming will begin at 17:48 GMT (19:48 CEST) for about one hour.
From launch to final deployment, when the dispenser releases the satellites sideways in opposite directions, takes three hours and 44 minutes. Live coverage resumes at 21:25 GMT (23:25 CEST).
More details, including live streaming of the launch, are available at the ESA website.
This flight is designated VS03 in Arianespace‘s mission numbering system, and it will be the Spaceport’s third launch since Soyuz was introduced at this near-equatorial facility one year ago. Arianespace is the launch contractor.
The two Galileo satellites will join the first two spacecraft orbited by Arianespace’s historic VS01 flight on October 21, 2011, marking Soyuz’ introduction at the Spaceport. Once all four are operational in space, they will provide the minimum number of satellites required for navigational fixes — enabling system validation testing when all are visible in the sky.
As a European initiative, the Galileo satellite navigation system is being developed in a collaborative effort of the European Union and the European
Space Agency. The In-Orbit Validation (IOV) satellites weigh 700 kg. each and were built by a consortium led by the Astrium division of EADS — which
produced the platforms and has responsibility for the payloads, while Thales Alenia Space handled the assembly and testing tasks.