The two Galileo Full-Operational Capability (FOC) satellites planned to take-off on Friday, August 22nd, at 14:27 (Brussels time) from the European Space Port of Kourou are getting a step closer to space with their integration on Soyuz's Fregat upper stage.
Almost ready ...
The positioning on the upper stage marks the beginning of the final integration phase of the payload on the launcher.
Doresa and Milena are the names of the satellites 5 and 6 of the Galileo constellation. They are the names of the kids winning the Galileo drawing competition in 2011.
Galileo is an EU funded constellation of 30 navigation satellites, aiming to provide highly accurate positioning information well before 2020. Most of its services will be free of charge.
The flight of Milena and Doresa to their station will last about 3 hours and 48 minutes. During this time, the Fregat stage of the launch will perform two burns, separated by a more-than-three-hours ballistic flight.
On the picture to the right, the satellite can be seen being moved into position for integration with the dispenser. On the left side, the two halves of the fairing are waiting their turn.
Each of the satellites weights about 730 kgs.
(Picture: © Arianespace)