Successful launch of Galileo FOC* satellites Alba and Oriana
Bremen/Kourou, September 11, 2015. 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 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.
Status of the Galileo FOC production
The next Galileo FOC satellite pair has also already passed all functional, performance and environmental testing. Both satellites are ready for delivery to Kourou and for their launch scheduled for December. A further pair of satellites is already at the test center at Noordwijk to pass the environmental test campaign. At OHB in Bremen, work is under way on building the Galileo satellites in parallel on a total of seven production islands.
About OHB System AG
OHB System AG is one of the three leading space companies in Europe. It belongs to listed high-tech group OHB SE, where around 2,000 specialists and executives work on key European space programs. With more than three decades of experience, OHB System AG specializes in high-tech solutions for space. These include low-orbiting and geostationary satellites for earth observation, navigation, telecommunications, science and space exploration as well as systems for manned space flight and aerial reconnaissance.
*The FOC (full operational capability) phase of the Galileo program is being funded and executed by the European Union. The European Commission and the European Space Agency ESA have signed a delegation agreement under which ESA acts as the development and sourcing agency on behalf of the Commission. The view expressed here does not necessary reflect the official position of the European Union and/or ESA. “Galileo” is a registered trademark owned by the EU and ESA and registered under OHIM application number 002742237.