The first satellite of Galileo’s next phase has arrived at ESA’s technical heart in the Netherlands for a rigorous set of tests to check its readiness for launch.
The first new Galileo satellite arrives at the European Space Agency for space testing, ESA reports.
This first Galileo Full Operational Capability – FOC – satellite is functionally identical to the first four Galileo In-Orbit Validation satellites already in orbit (the operational nucleus of the full Galileo constellation), but has been built by a separate industrial team.
Like all the other 21 FOC satellites so far procured by ESA, the satellite’s prime contractor is OHB in Bremen, Germany and the navigation payload was produced by Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd in Guildford, UK.
This first FOC satellite arrived by road at ESTEC’s Test Centre in Noordwijk, the Netherlands, on 15 May to undergo a series of tests simulating different aspects of launch and space environment. The comprehensive test programme will validate the new design and all the satellites to follow.
- Galileo is the name of the European Satellite Navigation programme.
- ESA is the acronym of the European Space Agency