🇬🇧 Forward to Moon(Dot)Village – our fabulous plan for my Moon landing

🇬🇧 Link to Mission Log

🇩🇪 Deutschsprachiger Mondlandeplan

🇩🇪 Deutschsprachige Version Missionslogbuch

My fabulous plan to land on the Lunar surface this year is not a secret – especially because I had announced that as part of the #MySpaceDream campaign of ESA. And this dream was already announced before I had even launched to my current #MoonDot mission at @MoonDotstation:

 

Now after almost two months here at MoonDotStation these plans for the first (womanned?!) Lunar landing are getting more and more realistic! And that’s because we have found the key element that will allow this Lunar landing to happen very soon! And this key element is called … drum roll … MOON CRUISER ! Moon Cruiser is a very interesting project by the European aerospace company Airbus Defence & Space ! It will allow to transfer more heavy cargo elements to our mini gateway called MoonDotStation – by acting as an additional stage for current launchers.  Please have a look what fantastic opportunities a mini Moon Cruiser will open for us:

 

Do you agree that these Moon Cruiser operations around the Lunar Gateway  are looking quite similar to the ones we do here at MoonDotStation ? Let’s have a look what a mini Moon Cruiser could do for our MoonDot program ! Moon Cruiser could do the transfer of new modules to MoonDotStation – even without SLS launches:

AMC_NewModule2

A Moon Cruiser as transfer vehicle for a habitation module to the Lunar Gateway. (Image: Airbus DS)

A bigger habitat module could be quite useful here at MoonDotStation. One complication: to launch it and MonCruiser we would need a Falcon Heavy launcher in full expendable mode without recovering any stage. On the other hand, to have a bigger habitat module might allow to have a bigger crew here at MoonDotStation – for example a former colleague (currently not active) could be motivated again to join – even for the Lunar landing.

Back to my planned solo Lunar landing: How could we transport the Lunar lander to MoonDotStation? In a first launch the ascent and descent stages of the lander could be transferred to MoonDotstation by a Moon Cruiser after a launch with a mini Ariane 64:

AMC_MoonLander

A Moon Cruiser as transfer vehicle for a Lunar lander. (Image: Airbus DS)

Well, the fuel for both stages could not be launched with the same launch, it needs to be launched separately ! Another Moon Cruiser could relocate a tanking ship to MoonDotStation ! That ship could look like this one:

AMC-FreighteratMDS

A cargo ship / tanker attzached to a Moon Cruiser is approaching the Lunar Gateway. (Image: Airbus DS)

An Ariane 6 launcher even with the new black upper stage under development cannot lift all the fuel necessary for ascent and descent stage of my Lunar lander. You would need two launches instead.  Our preferred alternative is to order one launch with the more powerful Vulcan Centaur Heavy launcher from United Launch Alliance that could lift all the fuel for my Lunar lander at once. A Falcon Heavy in fully expendable mode could also do the job for the same price. Unfortunately, there are no Falcon Heavy center cores available at the moment as all three launched were lost.

VulcanCentaur

Vulcan Centaur Heavy is our preferred launcher for a Moon Cruiser Tanker that will bring the fuel for my Lunar lander to MoonDotStation. (Image: ULA)

Finally, we would need a transfer stage to move my Lunar lander from the high and very elliptical NRHO orbit of MoonDotStation to a Low Lunar Orbit (LLO) – and eventually back to MoonDotStation as well. Another Moon Cruiser is very well suited to do this job ! That is our planned scenario for my Moon landing in the coming months. Exciting, isn’t it ?

FalconHeavyNewModule.jpg

A Falcon Heavy in fully expendable mode could lift a big habitation module with help of a Moon Cruiser to MoonDotStation. Another Falcon Heavy could launch two fully fueled components of my Lunar lander at once. (Image: Airbus DS)

Another launch option is to use a cargo SLS launcher – for instance to launch the entire Lunar lander. We are still open minded here because we still looking for some financial support to be able conduct the full Lunar landing mission. It’s a bit like in the real world somehow.

Now let us conclude how the preferred Lunar landing scenario will look like:

  1. Launch of the Lunar Lander without fuel by a mini Ariane 64 – with a Moon Cruiser as transfer stage to MoonDotStation
  2. Launch of a Moon Cruiser Tanking Vehicle by a mini Vulcan Centaur Heavy launcher with fuel for my Lunar lander (alternative launch vehicle mini Falcon Heavy in fully expendable mode)
  3. Launch of a Moon Cruiser Transfer Vehicle to MoonDotStation with a mini Ariane 64 launch with a black upper stage
  4. Departure of the Lunar lander from MoonDotStation with help of the Moon Cruiser Transfer Vehicle and flight to LLO
  5. Separation of the Lunar lander from the Moon Cruiser Transfer Vehicle and Lunar landing
  6. Launch of the ascent stage of the Lunar lander back to LLO and return to MoonDotStation in NRHO (eventually supported by the Moon Cruiser)

Obviousely, all these launches necessary for getting my Lander ready will take servaral weeks including all the launch preparations and assembly of the payloads. Therefore I will need another resupply mission to MoonDotStation as some supplies will be finished until end of October.  That will add another launch to the already busy schedule.

ArianeGroupCargoShip

A cargo ship like this ship proposed by ArianeGroup could bring additional supplies to MoonDotStation. The launcher would be an Ariane 64 with the new black upper stage called ICARUS. More information about this mission can be found in this Video!

We hope to launch that addditional cargo ship by a mini Ariane 64 with the new black light-weight upper stage. And as ArianeGroup has proposed a cargo ship fitting to that launcher we are considering to launch a mini version of that cargo ship. We will need more information about that cargo ship first.

That Ariane 6 cargo ship launch would already be the 5th mini Ariane 6 launch for my mission. Wow! And we will book at least one mini Vega-C launch as well. And not to forget: we have booked a service together with ESA to bring some scientific instruments to the Lunar surface to test how much water can really be extracted from Lunar soil. And this uncrewed Lunar lander will be launched by another mini Ariane 6 launcher! Really exciting times – and you all can take part in this ! 😉

Yours truly

Altaira

P.S.: By the way, my Lunar Lander and the first Moon Cruiser are already under construction „inhouse“ ! You may see some first pictures soon at the channels of our boss SpaceHolgar ! And a guest crew is preparing for launch as well! You see that there will be a lot of traffic here at MoonDotStation in the coming weeks!

 

Auf zum Moon(Dot)Village – Unser kühner Plan für meine Landung auf dem Mond

Link zum Missionslogbuch

Mein kühner Plan noch in diesem Jahr auf der Oberfläche des Mondes zu landen ist ja allgemein bekannt – auch weil ich dies bei der #MySpaceDream-Kampagne der ESA schon vor dem Beginn meiner gegenwärtigen #MoonDot-Mission bekanntgegeben habe:

Nach nun fast 2 Monaten hier auf der MoonDotStation ist es endlich an der Zeit unsere Pläne zur (ersten befrauten?!) Mondlandung bekanntzugeben! Wir haben nämlich das Schlüsselelement gefunden, welches erlauben wird diesen kühnen Plan umzusetzen! Und dieses Schlüsselprojekt hat den Namen … Trommelwirbel … MOON CRUISER! Dies ist ein äußerst ineresssantes Projekt von Airbus Defence & Space, welches es erlaubt recht schwere Elemente hier in den NRHO-Mondorbit der MoonDotStation zu transportieren, da es praktisch als vierte Stufe für diverse Trägerraketen dienen kann! Schaut selbst welche fantastischen Möglichkeiten der MoonCruiser bieten kann – hier ist ein Video dazu:

 

Das sieht doch alles recht unseren Aktivitäten mit der MoonDotStation ähnlich. Welche Elemente könnten wir denn jetzt wirklich benötigen um meine Landung auf dem Mond voranzutreiben? Da wäre erstmal der Transport von neuen Modulen zur MoonDotStation – auch ganz ohne SLS-Rakete:

AMC_NewModule2

So ein neues grösseres Wohnmodul könnte damit also zur MoonDotStation gestartet werden – allerdings nur mit einer Falcon-Heavy-Rakete im vollen Wegwerfmodus – also ohne Landung der Booster oder gar der Zentralstufe! Das wäre schön, allerdings benötige ich dies zur Mondlandung eigentlich nicht – außer Ihr möchtet das ich nicht alleine fliege und z.B. einen Ex-Kollegen (derzeit im Ruhestand) mitnehme.

Aber zurück zu meiner Solo-Mondlandung: Wie könnte ein Mondlander zur MoonDotStation gestartet werden? Man könnte das Landemodul und das Abstiegsmodul z.B. ohne Treibstoff zur MoonDotStation bringen. Ein Moon Cruiser gestartet auf einer Ariane 6 könnte dies z.B. bewerkstelligen:

AMC_MoonLander

Und dann könnte man diesen Lander an unserem Mini-Gateway MoonDotStation auftanken, z.B. mit einem Tankerschiff welches von einem weiteren Moon Cruiser zur MoonDotStation gebracht wird. Das könnte dann so aussehen:

AMC-FreighteratMDS

Allerdings wäre eine Ariane 6 auch mit der leichteren schwarzen Oberstufe nicht stark genug um diese Nutzlast zu tragen. Darum überlegen wir derweil ob wir da einen Start mit einer Vulcan Centaur Heavy bestellen sollten. Natürlich würde auch eine Falcon Heavy Rakete diesen Zweck erfüllen. Die ist im Nichtwiederverwendungsmodus aber auch recht teuer, und eigentlich hat SpaceX davon im Moment auch keine auf Lager, sind doch all die Zentralstufen dummerweise verlorengegangen.

VulcanCentaur

Eine Vulcan Centaur Heavy könnte eine Moon Cruiser Tanker zur MoonDotStation starten, welcher meinen Mondlander betanken könnte. (Bild: ULA)

Zuguterletzt braucht man dann noch eine Transferstufe, welche den Mondlander aus dem recht hohen elliptischen Mondorbit der MoonDotStation in eine niedrige Umlaufbahn bringen kann – und eventuell auch wieder zurück. Und da ist nichts besseres geeignet als ein weiterer Moon Cruiser!  So sähe also ein mögliches Mondlandeszenario für mich aus! Spannend, aber auch sehr aufwendig, oder?

FalconHeavyNewModule.jpg

Eine Falcon Heavy der Nichtwiederverwendungskategorie könnte auch verwendet werden um ein großes Wohnmodul zur MoonDotStation zu starten, oder um auch zwei Starts von Komponenten des Mondlanders zusammenzulegen.

Vielleicht könnte man auch eine SLS-Rakete benutzen um zwei der für die Mondlandung benötigten Starts zusammen zu legen. Wir sind da noch recht offen auch weil die endgültige Finanzierung nicht geklärt ist (so wie in der realen Welt leider auch!).

Aber fassen den gegenwärtigen Plan zu meiner Mondlandung hier nochmals zusammen:

  1. Start einer Mini-Ariane-64 mit Moon Cruiser zum Transport des unbetankten Mondlanders zur MoonDotStation
  2. Start eines Moon-Cruiser-Tankers zur MoonDotStation zum Betanken des Mondlanders, diesmal mit einer Vulcan-Centaur-Heavy-Rakete (alternativ Falcon Heavy)
  3. Start einer Moon-Cruiser-Transferstufe zur MoonDotStation mit einer Ariane 64 mit schwarzer Obserstufe
  4. Abkopplung Moon-Cruiser/Mondlander-Gespann und Transport in neidrigen Mondorbit
  5. Abtrennung des Landers und Landung auf dem Mond
  6. Rückstart des Austiegsmoduls des Landers und Rückkehr zur MoonDotStation (eventuell mit Hilfe des Moon Cruisers)

Dass diese Abfolge von Starts und anderen Events einige Wochen dauern wird ist natürlich selbstverständlich. Und da ich ab Mitte Oktober eine weiteres Versorgungsraumschiff für die Verlängerung meiner Mission benötige ist auch bekannt. Da steht also ein weiterer Start an.

ArianeGroupCargoShip

Ein Frachtschiff für unsere Mondstation wie von der ArianeGroup vorgeschlagen – gestartet mit einer Ariane 6 mit schwarzer Oberstufe genannt ICARUS. Mehr dazu findet Ihr in diesem Video!

Eventuell starten wir dafür ein Versorgungsraumschiff von ArianeGroup mit einer weiteren Ariane 64 mit schwarzer Oberstufe. Aber darüber müssen wir nochmal mit ArianeGroup reden über ein günstiges Angebot. Das wäre dann schon der 5. Ariane-6-Start für diese Mission, und mindestens einen Vega-C-Start werden wir wohl auch noch buchen. Und nicht vergessen sollte ich dass wir auch noch einen Starts einer Ariane-6 indirekt gebucht haben zusammen mit der ESA für einen Mondlander ohne Crew – zur weiteren Erforschung wieviel Wasser man aus dem Boden des Mondes am Südpol wirklich gewinnen kann.  Spannende Zeiten – und Ihr seid mit dabei! 😉

Eure Altaira

P.S.: Kleiner Nachtrag zum Mondlander! Der befindet sich schon in Arbeit – „inhouse“ beim Chef SpaceHolgar! Und wohl auch der erste Moon Cruiser ist im Bau habe ich gehört! Und eine Gastbesatzung hat sich auch angekündigt! Da wird also so einiges los sein hier demnächst auf und an der MoonDotStation!

Hinweis/Announcement

[DE] HINWEIS: Ich empfehle Euch dringend dem charmanten -Teammitglied Altaira zu folgen aufgrund der kommenden Ruhephase auf diesem Kanal! Sie übernimmt die Team-Hauptaktivitäten inklusive des nächsten Fluges zur !

Hier im Blog wird Altaira weiterhin als Gastbloggerin aktiv sein und auch weiterhin über die Mission vom MoonDotVillage-Lander 1 und viele weitere Aktivitäten berichten.

Viel Glück, Altaira! 🚀

[ENG] ANNOUNCEMENT: Due to my upcoming inactivity on this channel I recommend you to follow our charming team member Altaira! She will take over main activities of the team including an upcoming mission to !

Altaira will continue to report here in this blog as guest blogger. She will inform you about the mission of MoonDotVillage Lander and many other interesting activities.

All the best, Altaira! 🚀

Ariane 6 – die europäische Antwort auf die Falcon 9 von SpaceX?

Mein Chef gibt seine persönliche Einschätzung der Chancen der neuen ESA-Trägerrakete Ariane 6 ab!

Dr. Rocket

Vorwort: In den letzten Monaten hatte ich die Ehre verschiedene Raumfahrtstandorte wichtig für die Produktion für Ariane-5- und Ariane-6 Trägerraketen besuchen zu dürfen. Dabei habe ich in zahlreichen Gesprächen mit verschiedenen Experten Einsicht in Produktionsabläufe und auch strategische Planung der europäischen Launcherindustrie gewinnen können. Basierend auf diesen Erkenntnissen konnte ich wie ich denke eine wohlinformierte Meinung zur Problematik der Launcher entwickeln. Im folgenden habe ich diese einmal aufgeschrieben und hoffe damit auch eine Diskussion anregen zu können.  

38583830575_3f0f7215e6_z Falcon Heavy auf dem Launchpad 39A im Kennedy Space Center. Gespannt fiebern wir dem ersten Start entgegen.

Kaum etwas ist im Moment in der Raumfahrtszene so populär wie die Starts der Falcon-9-Rakete von SpaceX – hauptsächlich auch wegen der spektakulären Landungen der Erststufe. Und der Hype wächst im Moment umso mehr da in diesen Tagen die Falcon-Heavy-Rakete zum ersten Mal starten soll – nach jahrelangen Verzögerungen (Dezember 2012 war der ursprünglich erstmals genannte…

Ursprünglichen Post anzeigen 2.800 weitere Wörter

A visitor from Arizona, a forrest of mini launchers and a suborbital ride

We had a special visitor these days: Perry the @STEMFalcon had arrived from Arizona for some fun actions. Enjoy our adventures shown in this Twitter moment below (in some chaotic order for reasons unknown). For the full fun please follow the link to the Twitter moment at the end of this article. Thanks.

Looking behind the scenes of ArianeGroup in Les Mureaux (Part 3)

Link to German Version/Deutschsprachige Version

The third highlight during our fantastic visit  of ArianeGroup Les Mureaux on November 21 after visiting the main assembly hall of the main stage of the ESA launcher Ariane 5 and the SYLDA double launch structure was to have a look into the future. The new ESA launcher Ariane 6 was introduced to us by engineers and managers actually working on the Ariane 6 launcher project. As you can imagine this was a fabulous event for me because I am known as the biggest (but small in size) fan of the Ariane 6 launcher.

AR6modelsESASTS

This is a super cool Ariane 6 model that I found while visiting ESA Space Transportation at ESA HQ in Paris. In Les Mureaux we did not see any Ariane 6 model for some reason unknown.

 

In the future the main stage of the Ariane 6 launcher will be assembled here in Les Mureaux as well. For this purpose a new assembly complex is been build in Les Mureaux just next to the assembly hall for the Ariane 5 main stage. We were allowed to take a look at the construction site of the Ariane 6 assembly hall. As you can see this hall is not as high as the one for the Ariane 5 main stage. That has a good reason: The main stage of the Ariane 6 will be assembled horizontally in comparison to the vertical assembly of the Ariane 5 main stage. Horizontal assembly has several advantages:

  • All works are performed at the same level. This enables better cooperation between all engineers and technicians involved.
  • Experiences from serial production of Airbus aircrafts can be used for the assembly of the Ariane 6 main stage.
  • As the Ariane 6 main stage assembly hall has a relatively low ceiling climatization is way easier and comes to lower costs in comparision to the Ariane 5 main stage assembly hall.

 

ConstructionSite

The construction site for the assembly complex for the main stage  of Ariane 6 in Les Mureaux. The assembly of the first Ariane 6 main stages is planned to start within a few months.

 

Next was to learn more about Ariane 6 during a presentation about Ariane 6 and the current status of the development of this launcher. The two different versions of Ariane 6 – the A62 version with two Solid Rocket Motors (SRM) for medium sized payloads – and the big A64 version with four SRMs for heavy payloads – were introduced to us in quite some detail. The two versions of Ariane 6 will enable to launch a wider range of payloads in comparison to Ariane 5.

In the following you can have a look at some of the slides of the presentation given to us:

AR6basics

The two versions of Ariane 6 can be launched up to 12 times per year.

AR6versions

The medium A62 variant of Ariane 6 with two Solid Rocket Motors (SRMs) can transport at least 4.5 metric tons of payload to GTO (Geostationary Transfer Orbit). The heavy A64 version with four SRMs will be able to lift at least 12 metric tons to GTO. This beats the payload capacity of the current Ariane 5.

 

AR6payloadconfigurations

Ariane 6 will be able to launch very different payloads. This will be enabled by the two versions of Ariane 6, the SYLDA double launch unit, two versions of the payload fairing and several dispenser systems to launch satellites for big constellations.

AR6innovations

Several innovative methods for production, assembly and testing of Ariane 6 components will yield to lower the costs for launching with Ariane 6 in comparison to launching with Ariane 5 significantly.

 

These are the slides showing the current status of the development of Ariane 6. Ariane 6 has started to become real:

AR6status0
The first main engine Vulcain 2.1 (a cost optimized and upgraded version of the current Ariane 5 main engine Vulcain 2) is planned to be test fired for the first time later this year at the test site in Lampoldshausen, Germany.
AR6status1

The Vinci engine for the Ariane 6 upper stage has been tested already for several years. For a small 3D printed engine tests have started.

AR6status2

The first test unit of the Solid Rocket Motors has been assembled. A first test firing is planned for April 2018 in Kourou.

 

The launch preparations for the new Ariane 6 launcher at the European spaceport in Kourou were explained to us as well:

AR6KourouOps

Main and upper stage of Ariane 6 will be processed and transported horizontally in Kourou. They will be erected at the launch pad.  Solid Rocket Motors and the fairing including payload will be installed at the launch pad with help of the facilities of the Mobile Gantry.

 

Finally we had the pleasure to view a demonstration of the 3D program used for designing Ariane 6. During this part of the event details of the functions of the different Ariane 6 elements were explained to us. Here are some impressions from this presentation:

Booster3D

A Solid Rocket Motor for an Ariane 6 as seen in the 3D design program. The image is not blurred. You need 3D glasses for enjoying the 3D effect.

AR62_3D_details

The lower section of an Ariane 6 A62 with two SRMs as seen in the 3D design program.

SYLDAlongAR6

The SYLDA double launch unit will also be used for Ariane 6. A new long version of the SYLDA will allow to launch two big satellites of the same size.

 

The final part of our visit of ArianeGroup in Les Mureaux was a great Q&A session with four experts and engineers. We were allowed to ask any question related to Ariane 6. Obviously I had several questions by myself. Additionally I had collected interesting questions from some friends on Twitter and Facebook. All our questions were answered. Many thanks go to the experts: Michaela, Mathieu Chaize, Simon Debeugny and Guillaume Collange.

FourEngineers

These four Ariane 6 experts of ArianeGroup were answering our questions during a fantastic Q&A session.

 

After this great Q&A session our fantastic visit of ArianeGoup in Les Mureaux was coming to an end.  Many thanks to all involved! It was a great day in Les Mureaux. It was a great honour to be invited to this event. It was mindblowing to be allowed to take pictures and videos of almost all the very interesting things at the site.  Many thanks ArianeGroup! Merci beaucoup!

And we hope to be allowed to return to Les Mureaux next year when the production and assembly of the first Ariane 6 main stages has begun. We would love to report about these historic events to come!

 

Yours truly,

Mauso

 

P.S.: Some interesting info from the Q&A session with the ArianeGroup staff I would like to add:

  • The payload for the inaugural launch of Ariane 6 in the summer of 2020 is not fixed yet. ArianeGroup is talking to several interested potential customers. A decision will be made before the next design review in June 2018. The second launch at the end of 2020 or early 2021 will carry Galileo navigation satellites.
  • The thermal insulation of the Ariane 6 main stage will be sprayed foam. The colour of the foam is expected to be white. This is quite different from the segmented insulation blankets that are glued to the Ariane 5 core stage.

 

Part I: Visiting the huge assembly hall for the Ariane 5 main stage

Twostagesonewithengine

 

Part II: The double launch unit SYLDA

BigSyldaNoMauso

Looking behind the scences of the ArianeGroup in Les Mureaux (part 2)

Link to German version/Deutschsprachige Version

After having the great pleasure of visiting the main assembly hall for the central stage of the ESA launcher Ariane 5 in Les Mureaux another highlight of the visit was following. We were permitted to see how the cool double launch systems for the Ariane 5 – called SYLDA – are assembled.

 

ThreeSYLDASMauso

We were able to have a look at three SYLDA structures in different assembly stages. As you can see these are available in different sizes. This allows to optimize the SYLDAs for the real sizes of the satellites.

 

The name SYLDA is a great one for sure. It also has a meaning: it is the acronym for „SYstème de Lancement Double Ariane„. That is French for „double launch system for Ariane“. This system is very important for the commercial success of the Ariane 5 launchers as it enables to launch two communication satellites with a single Ariane 5 launch. Thus, launch costs can be shared between the owners of the two satellites.

 

MausoAR5model

Model of  an Ariane 5 launcher. The black SYLDA structure can be spotted inside the cutted payload fairing.

 

During the launch of two satellites one is encapsuled inside the SYLDA and the second sits on top of it. The satellite at the top is the first one to be released after the Ariane 5 upper stage has reach the desired orbit. The next step is to separate the entire cylindrical part of the SYLDA. The mechanical separation is done via small explosives. Then several springs are pushing the entire cylindrical part of the SYLDA away. For this all the springs have to be pre-loaded very carefully to avoid that the SYLDA cylinder contacts the satellite inside during the push. Often there are only 10 centimeters space between the inner SYLDA wall and the encapsuled satellite. Nevertheless, there was never a problem with the SYLDA system so far. And the engineers continue to work hard to keep it that way. Fingers crossed!

 

SmallSYLDAMauso

Here we have the smallest SYLDA unit (shown to us).

 

The SYLDA units are available in different sizes. This allows to adopt the SYLDAs to the actual sizes of the satellites to be launched.

 

ToppanelsMauso

These are segments for the conical part of SYLDA. They made of light-weight carbon composite material.

 

PanelsMauso

Here we have a carbon fiber based segment for the cylindrical part of a SYLDA structure.

 

When the SYLDA was designed it was important that the structure is stiff enough to survive the loads during launch and has low weight at the same time as the mass of the SYLDA is directly reducing the available payload mass. Therefore the SYLDA is mainly made of carbon fiber composite material. Segments of this material are glewed together to form the SYLDA structure.

 

NextisDispensperNoMauso

Oops, we have a hole in this SYLDA. It is made by purpose and is called „man hole“. This hole allows that technicians can have access to the satellite encapsuled inside. It can be closed by a cap.

 

As already stated SYLDA allows to launch two relatively big communication satellites by a single Ariane 5 launch. But there are smaller satellites for constellations where it makes sense to launch more than two satellites at the same time. One of these constellations is the European Galileo navigation satellite network.   Thus, last year in November four Galileo satellites were launched with a single Ariane 5 ES. A system different from the SYLDA one is needed for that kind of launch. A dispenser system was developed for that – also build by ArianeGroup in Les Mureaux. We had the pleasure to see such a dispenser system for four Galileo satellites (these satellites are build by the German company OHB in Bremen).

 

GalileoDispenserMaus

This is a Galileo dispenser. Four European Galileo navigation satellites will be connected to it for a launch with an Ariane 5 next summer. Two satellites at one time will be released after reaching the desired orbit.

 

The Galileo dispenser seen is planned to be used for a launch during the summer of 2018. Now after this meeting we are really looking forward to see this launch. This launch may even be more exciting as it might be the 100th Ariane 5 launch based on the current planning. Yeah!

And that is all for today! Many thanks.

Yours truly,

Mauso

 

Part I: Visiting the assembly hall for the Ariane 5 main stage

 

Twostagesonewithengine

 

Part III: News about my favourite ESA launcher Ariane 6 

AR6modelsESASTS