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Galileo makes ready

Technicians in SCAPE (Self Contained Atmospheric Protection Ensemble) suits fill Galileo satellites 22-26 with hydrazine fuel – ©ESA/CNES/Arianespace/Optique Video du CSG – H Rouffre ©Id 396226

Europe’s next four Galileo satellites have been fuelled at Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, in preparation for their launch on 25 July. The European Space Agency (ESA) reported on 3 July that the four satellites were placed in their protective containers to be transported from the S1A processing building to the S3B payload preparation building, where they were filled with the hydrazine fuel that will keep the satellites manoeuvrable during their 12-year working lives.

It is understood that the next step is to fit the quartet onto the dispenser that holds them in place securely during launch and then releases them into space once the upper stage of the Ariane 5 rocket reaches its 22,922 km altitude target orbit.