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This week a unique, combined team of specialists are conducting final training at ESA’s ESOC mission control centre to prepare for the 24 May launch of Europe’s next Galileo satellites – a dual launch on a Soyuz rocket from Kourou.
The team comprises over 40 experts drawn from ESA and from France’s CNES space agency, supported by additional specialists at both agencies in areas such as flight dynamics and ground stations.
Within the combined flight control team, each position is paired with its counterpart from the other agency and mixed ‘CNESOC’ shifts will rotate to conduct operations around the clock.
The same team conducts all the Galileo early operations alternately from ESOC and from the CNES control centre in Toulouse, France.
By launch day, the teams will have completed a very demanding series of joint simulation training sessions at ESOC, complemented by more specific training conducted separately at each control centre. Joint sessions are especially important to develop team bonds ‘on-console’ – so individuals get to know who will be working beside them and can foster one-on-one teamwork and mutual support.
Today’s image includes the three Flight Operations Directors and three Spacecraft Operations Managers who will work together with their teams in each of three shifts during the nine-day early operations phase.
From left: Hélène Cottet (CNES), Remi Lapeyre (CNES), Liviu Stefanov (ESA), Christelle Crozat (ESA), Thomas Cowell (ESA) and Hervé Côme (ESA).