Galileo satellite arrives in Netherlands

2nd August 2005, Comments 0 comments

2 August 2005AMSTERDAM — The first of 30 satellites of the proposed navigation system Galileo has arrived at the European Space Agency (ESA) scientific centre in Noordwijk, the Netherlands.

2 August 2005

AMSTERDAM — The first of 30 satellites of the proposed navigation system Galileo has arrived at the European Space Agency (ESA) scientific centre in Noordwijk, the Netherlands.

Galileo is the European alternative to America's GPS navigation system which uses satellites that allow motorists and other users to plot their exact position on the globe.

The European system is intended for purely civilian use, while the GPS system is also used by the military.

The first two of the satellites needed for the Galileo system are currently under development and ESA announced on Tuesday that the first one has arrived at the agency's European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) in Noordwijk.

ESTEC is the technical heart of ESA. Most of ESA missions are conceived and developed at Noordwijk by hundreds of scientists and experts from Europe and around the world who work there.

ESTEC's test centre has the capability of simulating the conditions that spacecraft will experience during launch and once they are in space. The ESA staff will also test whether the technology works.

The satellite is being developed by Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd in The United Kingdom on behalf of a consortium of companies developing Galileo.

It is a 3-axis stabilised satellite, measuring 1.3 m × 1.8 m × 1.65 m and it has a lift-off mass of about 600 kg. Seven hundred Watts of electrical power will be provided by two sun-tracking solar arrays — each 1.74 m long when deployed.

The satellite is currently known as GSTB-V2/B but ESA said Dutch Transport Minister Karla Peijs will give it an official name in the autumn.  A Russian Soyuz rocket will launch it into obit from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan in December.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Dutch news

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