Galileo Satellites Handed over to Control Center in Germany

November 4, 2011  - By
Image: GPS World

Europe’s first two Galileo satellites have reached their final operating orbits, opening the way for activating and testing their navigation payloads, reports the European Space Agency (ESA).
Marking the formal end of their LEOP Launch and Early Operations Phase, control of the satellites was passed on November 3 from the CNES French space agency center in Toulouse to the Galileo Control Centre in Oberpfaffenhofen in Germany.

Oberfaffenhofen, operated by the German Aerospace Center DLR, will be in charge of the satellites' command and control for the whole of their 12-year operating lives, ESA said.

The two Galileo satellites were launched by Soyuz from French Guiana on 21 October. Three hours and 49 minutes after launch, their Fregat-MT upper stage carried them into their planned 23 222 km orbit, where they were released simultaneously.

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