Author Topic: Soyuz Flight VS06 Soyuz-STB/Fregat-MT - Gaia December 19, 2013  (Read 109138 times)

Offline Jester

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Thanks Stan.

And according to several CSG people they might not even launch this year....

Offline Salo

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http://www.arianespace.com/news-mission-update/2013/1102.asp

Soyuz launch with Gaia spacecraft is postponed for additional payload checks

October 22, 2013 – Soyuz Flight VS06

The upcoming Soyuz flight with Europe’s Gaia has been postponed at the customer’s request, allowing time for additional checks on this star-mapping scientific satellite.

A new launch date will be announced by Arianespace as soon as the spacecraft’s availability is confirmed.

Gaia was developed by the European Space Agency and produced by Astrium for a mission to chart a three-dimensional map of the Milky Way.  In the process, it will reveal the galaxy’s composition, formation and evolution.

With a liftoff mass of 2,030 kg., Gaia is to be placed on a trajectory to an orbit around the Sun at a location known as the L2 Lagrangian point.

Offline Danderman

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A russian speaking little bird has mentioned there are "issues"
... implying that the issues are with the Russian hardware, not the satellite.

Offline Jester

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A russian speaking little bird has mentioned there are "issues"
... implying that the issues are with the Russian hardware, not the satellite.


No, just a Russian source, the issue is with Gaia, I'm hearing its the same issue was O3b has, but no confirmation on this....

Offline Galactic Penguin SST

A russian speaking little bird has mentioned there are "issues"
... implying that the issues are with the Russian hardware, not the satellite.


No, just a Russian source, the issue is with Gaia, I'm hearing its the same issue was O3b has, but no confirmation on this....

Wasn't the O3b satellites being built by Thales Alenia and GAIA by EADS Astrium? Do they share the same components?
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Offline Star One

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A russian speaking little bird has mentioned there are "issues"
... implying that the issues are with the Russian hardware, not the satellite.


No, just a Russian source, the issue is with Gaia, I'm hearing its the same issue was O3b has, but no confirmation on this....

What was the issue with that?

Offline Danderman

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A russian speaking little bird has mentioned there are "issues"
... implying that the issues are with the Russian hardware, not the satellite.


No, just a Russian source, the issue is with Gaia, I'm hearing its the same issue was O3b has, but no confirmation on this....

Wasn't the O3b satellites being built by Thales Alenia and GAIA by EADS Astrium? Do they share the same components?

You are correct - GAIA is an Astrium bus, whereas O3b is Thales Alenia. Why they would have the same problem is a mystery.


Offline Galactic Penguin SST

http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Gaia/Gaia_launch_postponement_update

Yesterday, the decision was taken to postpone the launch of ESA’s Gaia mission after a technical issue was identified in another satellite already in orbit.

Gaia shares some of the components involved in this technical issue and prompt notification of this problem has allowed engineers working on the final preparations for Gaia’s launch to take additional precautionary measures.

The issue concerns components used in two transponders on Gaia that generate ‘timing signals’ for downlinking the science telemetry. To avoid potential problems, they will be replaced.

The transponders will be removed from Gaia at Kourou and returned to Europe, where the potentially faulty components will be replaced and verified. After the replacements have been made, the transponders will be refitted to Gaia and a final verification test made.

As a consequence of these precautionary measures, it will not be possible to launch Gaia within the window that includes the previously targeted launch date of 20 November.

The next available launch window is 17 December to 5 January 2014.

More details will be given as soon as they are available. The new launch date will be announced when the timeline for completing the additional work has been confirmed and the overall launch manifest of Arianespace has been established.

Gaia is ESA’s billion-star surveyor, designed to provide a precise 3D map of our Milky Way galaxy in order to understand its composition, formation and evolution.
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Offline Salo

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http://www.space-travel.com/reports/New_chief_urges_Ariane_5_modification_for_big_satellites_999.html
Quote
In other comments, Israel said his other big plan was to speed up launch preparation time at Kourou, so that a typically three-week gap between operations was reduced to two weeks.

Ariane-5 launch planned on December 13. Plus three weeks...

Offline Galactic Penguin SST

http://www.space-travel.com/reports/New_chief_urges_Ariane_5_modification_for_big_satellites_999.html
Quote
In other comments, Israel said his other big plan was to speed up launch preparation time at Kourou, so that a typically three-week gap between operations was reduced to two weeks.

Ariane-5 launch planned on December 13. Plus three weeks...

In the end the Ariane 5 launch has been moved up to December 6 and GAIA is now scheduled for launch on December 20!  :)

It's not yet on Arianespace's web page, but I have received this e-mail message from them:

Quote

Arianespace launches VA216 and VS06 scheduled respectively for December 6 and 20, 2013

To allow the Gaia program to carry out additional checks on its satellite, Arianespace has switched the order of its two upcoming launches, with full agreement of its customers, moving the Ariane 5 ECA mission for SES and Hispasat ahead of the Soyuz launch for ESA.

Arianespace is now able to announce the planned dates of its next two launches, thanks to the combined efforts of the teams in charge of preparing the Gaia, ASTRA 5B and AMAZONAS 4A satellites, the teams in charge of the Ariane 5 and Soyuz launchers and the staff at the Guiana Space Center, CNES in particular, responsible for optimizing launch preparations:

VA216 – Ariane 5 ECA – Astra 5B and Amazonas 4A – December 6
VS06 – Soyuz – Gaia – December 20
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Offline Galactic Penguin SST

According to http://www.spaceflightnow.com/tracking/index.html the launch time on December 20 is 09:08:14 UTC.
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Offline grondilu

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A twelve-minutes-long video from Euronews about Gaia:


Offline Jester

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Updated CSG Logo
« Last Edit: 11/12/2013 10:29 am by Jester »

Offline Star One

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Offline Jester

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Gaia in flight config back at the end of October


and the story of the transponder issue:
http://blogs.esa.int/gaia/2013/11/19/we-are-back/
« Last Edit: 11/20/2013 11:52 am by Jester »

Offline Galactic Penguin SST

The launch has moved up one day: http://www.arianespace.com/news-press-release/2013/11-22-2013-VS06-launch-date.asp

Arianespace Flight VS06 Soyuz ST-B - Gaia: Launch set for Thursday, December 19, 2013
Evry, November 22, 2013

The checks on the Gaia satellite are proceeding nominally, enabling Arianespace in agreement with ESA to announce the launch date.

Liftoff of the Soyuz ST-B launcher is set for Thursday, December 19, at precisely:

09:12:18 am (UTC)
06:12:18 am (local time in French Guiana)
10:12:18 am (Paris)
04:12:18 am (Washington, D.C.)
12:12:18 pm (Moscow)
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Offline jacqmans

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Basic build-up is being completed for Arianespace’s Soyuz to launch Gaia


December 4, 2013 - Soyuz Flight VS06

The Soyuz launcher for an ambitious mission of developing the Milky Way’s most precise three-dimensional map is completing its basic build-up following mating of the vehicle’s Block I third stage in French Guiana.

This step occurred in the Spaceport’s MIK Launcher Integration Building, enabling checkout of the integrated Soyuz prior to its upcoming transfer to the launch pad – where the European Space Agency’s Gaia star-mapper satellite and Fregat upper stage will be installed.

Scheduled for liftoff on December 19, the mission – designated Soyuz Flight VS06 – will be Arianespace’s sixth with the workhorse Russian-built launcher from French Guiana since its service entry at the Spaceport in October 2011.

Gaia will make the largest three-dimensional map of the Milky Way by surveying an unprecedented one percent of its 100 billion stars. The Astrium-built spacecraft also is expected to discover hundreds of thousands of unknown celestial objects, including extra-solar planets and failed stars known as brown dwarfs.

http://www.arianespace.com/news-mission-update/2013/1112.asp

Offline bolun

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Offline jacqmans

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Offline bolun

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Gaia is positioned for its star-mapping launch on an Arianespace Soyuz

December 11, 2013 - Soyuz Flight VS06

The payload “stack” is now taking shape for this month’s Arianespace launch of Gaia – Europe’s billion-star mapper satellite, which is to be lofted by a Soyuz vehicle on December 19 from French Guiana.

As the latest milestone in a now well-established processing flow for Arianespace’s medium-lift Soyuz, Gaia was positioned atop the launcher’s Fregat upper stage during activity in the Spaceport’s S3B preparation building.  Fregat is an autonomous, highly flexible upper stage that will perform two separate burns in sending Gaia on its way to an orbit around the Sun at the L2 Lagrangian point.

The next processing step is to encapsulate the Gaia/Fregat combination in a two-piece payload fairing, readying the unit for mating to Soyuz after the vehicle’s rollout from its separate MIK integration building – where the Russian-built launcher was assembled.

Gaia is designed to observe one billion stars in the Milky Way approximately 70 times each during a mission design life of 5.5 years, and has a liftoff mass of 2,030 kg.

Built by Astrium at its Toulouse, France facility, Gaia will be operated by the European Space Agency to provide a representative sample from which properties of the entire galaxy can be measured, ultimately allowing astronomers to determine its origin and evolution.

Gaia will be launched on Arianespace’s sixth Soyuz flight performed from the Spaceport since 2011, where this workhorse launcher is operational alongside the company’s heavy-lift Ariane 5 and lightweight Vega vehicles.

http://www.arianespace.com/news-mission-update/2013/1114.asp

Launch window for Soyuz VS06

UTC at 09:12:19 a.m. on December 19
 
Kourou, French Guiana at 06:12:19 a.m. on December 19

Paris, France at 10:12:19 a.m. on December 19
 
Washington, D.C. at 04:12:19 a.m.on December 19
 
Moscow, Russia at 01:12:19 p.m. on December 19
 

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