The liftoff of the Soyuz rocket carrying Galileo satellites 9 & 10 from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana was a success.
The first three stages of the Soyuz rocket take the Galileo satellites and their Fregat upper stage into low orbit. Then the reignitable Fregat, as much a spacecraft as a rocket stage, took over the task of hauling the satellites higher through a pair of burns.
The satellites will be released in opposite directions by their dispenser once they reach their set 22 522 km-altitude orbit 3 h 47 min 57 sec after launch.
The Galileo FOC* satellites No. 5 (Alba) and No. 6 (Oriana) was designed and built by OHB System AG for the European Navigation System. Each of the Galileo satellites is named after one of the children who won the painting competition organized by the European Commission in 2011.
* 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 delegation agreement under which ESA acts as the development and sourcing agency on behalf of the Commission. The view expressed here does not necessary 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.
See the launch here.
Liftoff of Soyuz ST-B carrying Galileo satellites 9 and 10, at 02:08 GMT, from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana - Copyright ESA/CNES./Arianespace