Press Release

France in Space No. 198: Galileo Goes On

By SpaceRef Editor
March 11, 2002
Filed under ,

1: GALILEO GOES ON

2: SNECMA SOLID PROPULSION, FIRST STEP IN HERAKLES CREATION

3: ENVISAT IS GETTING READY TO OBSERVE EARTH

4: FRENCH-US JASON-1 SATELLITE READY TO START ITS MISSION

** 1: GALILEO GOES ON

Galileo (Europe’s Global Satellite Navigation System) development goes on
although the European Union (EU) Transport Council has not yet reached a
final agreement. A Galileo Interim Support Structure (GISS) has already
been put in place to ensure that the technical development of Galileo is
coherent with the users’ requirements. The GISS consists of some 30 highly
qualified international experts and is located in Brussels, Belgium. In the
meantime, the preparatory development activities have been intensified over
the last few months, with the European space industry as well as with the
application and service industries. For instance, critical technologies,
such as atomic clocks and signal generators, are under development and work
is progressing as planned. The Galileo ground segment architecture has also
been further refined with a view to minimize the implementation and
operation costs. The Heads of State at their summit meeting in Laeken,
Belgium, reaffirmed the strategic importance they attached to the Galileo
program. They invited the EU Transport Council to reach a decision in March
2002 (March 25-26).
[ESA Press Release, 03/05/2002]

** 2: SNECMA PROPULSION SOLIDE, FIRST STEP IN HERAKLES CREATION

On February 28, Snecma Moteurs’ shareholders recognized the facility in
Bordeaux-Le-Hailan (France) as a subsidiary. This is the first step of the
merger process with SNPE’s energetic material business, with a view to
develop the Herakles project, jointly-owned subsidiary of Snecma and SNPE.
The new Bordeaux-Le-Hailan company, Snecma Propulsion Solide, is a
fully-owned subsidiary of Snecma Moteurs, specialized in designing and
manufacturing solid rocket motors (for the Ariane 5 commercial launcher,
the M45, M51 strategic missiles and for tactical missiles), and
thermostructural composite materials for the aviation and space sectors and
the industry. Michel Laroche, 53, was appointed Chairman and Chief
Executive Officer of Snecma Propulsion Solide. He was previously Vice
President Engineering of Snecma Moteurs.

[Snecma, 02/28/2002]

** 3: ENVISAT IS GETTING READY TO OBSERVE THE EARTH

Since its successful launch into sun synchronous orbit on the morning of
March 1, Envisat has been getting ready to start observing the Earth. With
its 70 square meters solar array fully deployed, Envisat will obtain power
from the Sun. The ASAR antenna is now extending to its full 10 meters,
ready for its deployment in space. On March 5, the Switch on and Data
Acquisition Phase started. One by one, each of the 10 instruments on board
has been turned on and calibrated. The first data check has been carried
out to guarantee the quality of the data ESA will provide to Envisat users.
The phase will involve more than 200 people, including ESA staff and
scientists all over the world. The data delivery to Envisat users is
planned to start next September. Text, photos and videos are available on
the new site http://www.esa.int/envisat/.
[ESA Press Release, 03/05/2002]

** 4: FRENCH-US JASON-1 SATELLITE READY TO START ITS MISSION

The scientific validation phase of the joint CNES-NASA mission, Jason-1,
can now begin. Two months after launch, Jason-1, ocean observation
satellite, has successfully completed in-orbit checkout. The bus, payload
and ground segment are all functioning correctly. Science products will now
be distributed to users and work will start to conduct a precise scientific
assessment of product quality and to cross-calibrate Jason-1 and
Topex/Poseidon products. The images showing Jason first results are
available on the following internet Web site :
http://www.cnes.fr/actualites/dossier_jason/Galerie_photo/Galerie_frame.htm
by clicking on “Premiers resultats”.
[CNES Press Release, 02/28/2002]

[From CNES Press Release, ESA Press Release, Snecma Press Release (Snecma)]

SpaceRef staff editor.