[Satellite TODAY 08-09-12] Thales Alenia Space
has successfully shipped the next Galileo navigation satellite to the European Spaceport in French Guiana, where it will begin preparations for an October launch into orbit by Arianespace
The satellite — the fourth Galileo In-Orbit Validation (IOV) spacecraft in a series that is being launched into medium-Earth orbit — arrived at the launch site Aug. 7. The first two Galileo satellites were launched in 2011. The third Galileo satellite arrived at Arianespace’s French Guiana facilities in April. The third and fourth satellites will be launched together aboard an Arianespace-modified Soyuz ST-B vehicle.
Galileo is part of a European Space Agency (ESA) effort to operate an independent satellite navigation system. The Galileo program’s IOV phase will be followed by the deployment of additional satellites for ESA to achieve full operational capability (FOC).
A consortium led by EADS Astrium built the first four Galileo IOV satellites. German manufacturer OHB System is producing the first 22 of the FOC satellites, with U.K.-based Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. (SSTL) producing the payloads.