Soyuz Flight VS13: Another mission for Europe and Galileo; 12th and final flight in 2015 for Arianespace
For its 12th flight of the year, and the 13th Soyuz launch overall from the Guiana Space Center (CSG), Arianespace will orbit another pair of satellites for the Galileo constellation.
This mission, conducted for the European Commission under a contract with the European Space Agency (ESA), will orbit Galileo FOC (Full Operational Capability) satellites 11 and 12.
After this flight, 12 Galileo satellites will have been deployed by Arianespace. The launch will be from the Soyuz Launch Complex (ELS) in Sinnamary, French Guiana.
Targeted orbit: Medium Earth Orbit, circular – Orbital Plane C
Altitude: 23,222 km.
Inclined: 54.946 degrees
Liftoff is scheduled for Thursday, December 17, 2015 at exactly:
08:51:56 a.m., (local time in French Guiana)
06:51:56 a.m., (in Washington, D.C.)
11:51:56 a.m., (UTC)
12:51:56 p.m., (in Paris)
14:51:56 p.m., (in Moscow)
The mission (from liftoff to satellite release) will last approximately 3 hours and 48 minutes.
The launcher will be carrying a total payload of 1,603 kg., including 1,434 kg. for the two Galileo satellites.
The Launch Readiness Review (LRR) will take place on Wednesday, December 16, 2015 in French Guiana, to authorize the start of operations for the final countdown.
Galileo, an emblematic European program
Galileo, a new global satellite navigation system, is an emblematic European Union program – lead by its Directorate General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (GROWTH); with ESA assigned the responsibility for design and procurement.
The Galileo FOC (Full Operational Capacity) satellites are built in Europe by OHB System of Bremen, Germany as prime contractor, with all payloads supplied by SSTL (Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd.), a British subsidiary of Airbus Defence and Space.
To watch a live, high-speed transmission of the launch, go to www.arianespace.com (with commentators in French and English), starting 15 minutes before liftoff. You can also follow the launch live on your iPhone or iPad (via the free Arianespace HD app).
Arianespace is the world’s leading satellite launch company. Founded in 1980, Arianespace deploys a family of three launchers, Ariane, Soyuz and Vega, to meet the needs of both commercial and government customers, and has performed over 270 launches to date. Backed by its 20 shareholders and the European Space Agency, Arianespace is the only company in the world capable of launching all types of payloads into all orbits, from the Guiana Space Center in French Guiana. As of December 09, 2015, Arianespace had carried out 227 Ariane launches, 38 Soyuz launches (12 at the Guiana Space Center and 26 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, via Starsem) and six Vega launches. Arianespace is headquartered in Evry, near Paris, and has a facility at the Guiana Space Center, plus local offices in Washington D.C., Tokyo and Singapore.