Galileo FOC satellites No. five and six developed and built by OHB System AG, called Alba and Oriana, were successfully launched on board a Soyuz rocket, which lifted off from the Kourou space centre in French Guayana today (11.09) at 04:08h CEST.
They reached their planned orbit at an altitude of around 23,000 kilometers just under four hours later, shortly after they sent their first “sign of life” to the ESOC Control Center in Darmstadt. Over the next few days, the two satellites will also be undergoing preliminary function testing.
Marco R. Fuchs, CEO of OHB: “Even though we’ve meanwhile developed a certain launch routine, each and every launch in itself is a very special moment. I’d like to thank all the Galileo teams who participated in this success story for doing a great job once again.”
Dr. Ingo Engeln, the member of OHB System AG’s Management Board responsible for navigation, said: “Now we already have six OHB navigation satellites in orbit – what an amazing success! And the past satellites have all delivered compelling proof of the full functionality and performance.”
Aliac Jojaghaian, Head of the OHB team for the early operational phase at the ESOC Control Center in Darmstadt: “We were all absolutely thrilled with the successful initialisation sequence of the satellites. We have a good connection, the solar panels have unfolded properly and are correctly aligned with the sun.”
Next week the Galileo Control Center in Oberpfaffenhofen will assume responsibility for Alba and Oriana on behalf of the ESA and the European Commission, including the later commissioning of the payload. As the industrial prime contractor, OHB is responsible for 16 additional Galileo FOC navigation satellites.
Source / Author: OHB