27 April 2008

GIOVE-B succesfully launched

Giove-B launch was succesfull. The full report of the mission can be found on the ESA website.

The GIOVE-B satellite was lofted into a medium altitude orbit around the earth by a Soyuz/Fregat rocket departing from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan by launch operator Starsem. Lift-off occurred at 04:16 local time on 27 April (00:16 Central European Summer Time). The Fregat upper stage performed a series of manoeuvres to reach a circular orbit at an altitude of about 23 200 km, inclined at 56 degrees to the Equator, before safely delivering the satellite into orbit some 3 hours and 45 minutes later. The two solar panels that generate electricity to power the spacecraft deployed correctly and were fully operational by 05:28 CEST.

We look forward now to the switch on of the payload, when finally we will have available a signal-in-space very close to the final Galileo signal to test.