Soyuz Orbits Two Galileo Satellites

Soyuz Orbits Two Galileo SatellitesAriane Space announces launch Friday afternoon, French Guiana time, designated VS03 that “… successfully orbited two satellites today for the European Galileo navigation network.”

The article reports: “The pair of Galileo satellites was carried side-by-side on a dual-payload dispenser system, with their release performed in opposite directions by a pyrotechnic separation system that released them at the proper orbital insertion point. These spacecraft joined the initial two Galileo spacecraft orbited on Arianespace’s milestone VS01 flight on October 21, 2011 – which marked Soyuz’ introduction at the Spaceport. Together, the four satellites launched by Arianespace will form an operational mini-constellation – creating the minimum number required to allow navigational fixes for validations of the Galileo system… Galileo is a European initiative, with the constellation of navigation spacecraft being developed in a collaborative effort of the European Union and the European Space Agency.”

You can read more about Galileo Navigation at ESA website. It seems, certainly, a very aggressive launch schedule with 22 more navigation satellites scheduled to be put into orbit, beginning next year.

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