Today Arianespace launched from Guiana Space Center as 11th launch vehicle in 2017 Ariane 5 with ESA payload. Rocket delivered to orbit another four navigational satellites for ESA Galileo program.
Galileo-19, Galileo-20, Galileo-21 and Galileo-22 will support constellation of 14 satellites operating as space part of navigational satellite system Galileo. Each weighing 733 kg satellites was made by OHB-System GmbH (bus) and SSTL (payload) and is powered by two deployable solar arrays. During their 12 years mission satellites will be kept on orbit by eight hydrazine fueled thrusters providing 1 N thrust each.
Ariane 5 was launched today, on December 12, 2017, for the sixth time in 2017. Rocket performed lift off punctually at 18:37 UTC from l’Ensemble de Lancement Ariane 4 launch site. Vehicle operated nominally separating boosters after four minutes of flight. Rocket performed separation of the core stage at T+9′. Upper stage performed first long burn to reach transfer orbit and begun coast phase planned to last two hours. Next burns circularized orbit to make it almost circular on 23000 km, 56° inclined.
First pair of Galileo satellite was deployed on 23616 orbit at 22:15 UTC, second pair was deployed nineteen minutes later.
All four satellites re in good condition and already sent first confirmation to ground control center.