Image of the Day: Twin Galileo Satellites Are Fueled, Ready for Launch
The twin Galileo satellites are now fully fueled and mated together atop the upper stage that will haul them most of the way up to their final orbit. The launch is now planned for the evening of 12 October, according to the European Space Agency.
Technicians donned protective suits to fill the two satellites’ tanks with hydrazine fuel, used to maintain the satellites’ attitude and orbital position during their planned 12-year lifetime. Rather than carry a significant amount of extra fuel to insert themselves into their planned orbits – like typical telecommunications satellites or Galileo’s US GPS equivalents – the Galileo satellites are transported to medium orbit by the Fregat fourth stage of their Soyuz ST-B launcher.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2012/10/twin-galileo-satellites-are-fueled-ready-launch