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Four Galileos
in ESA test centre

Europe’s latest Galileo satellite was unboxed at European Space Agency’s technical centre in The Netherlands in May, bringing the total number of satellites at the site to four. This was announced from ESA on 10 June.

The European Space Research and Technical Centre (ESTEC) in Noordwijk is the largest satellite test facility in Europe, with all the equipment needed to simulate every aspect of the launch and space environment under a single roof. It is an essential stop on the way to space for Europe’s Galileo satellites, built by OHB in Bremen, Germany, with navigation payloads from Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd in Guildford, UK.

The eleventh Galileo satellite, known as FOC FM-09, being slid out of the 4.5 metre diameter Phenix thermal-vacuum chamber. Weeks of testing simulated the airlessness and temperature extremes of orbital space, taking place at the ESTEC Test Centre in Noordwijk, The Netherlands during May 2015. © ESA – Id 341381