GIOVE-B integrated with Fregat upper stage
GIOVE-B has been integrated with the Fregat upper stage of the launch vehicle in the Upper Composite Integration Facility at Baikonur Cosmodrome.
GIOVE-B has been moved from the Hazardous Processing Facility - where it was fuelled - to the Upper Composite Integration Facility (UCIF). Having first been mounted on its payload adapter, the spacecraft was then integrated with the Fregat upper stage of the launch vehicle.
Flight qualified in 2000, the Fregat upper stage is an autonomous and flexible upper stage that is designed to operate as an orbital vehicle. Fregat consists of six spherical containers (four tanks for propellant/oxidiser, two housing avionics bays) arranged in a circle. The main engine is in the centre of the ring of spheres, keeping Fregat very compact. The stage is independent of the lower three launcher stages, having its own guidance, navigation, control, tracking, and telemetry systems.
Fregat's main engine provides just over two tonnes of thrust. The orientation of Fregat and its payload can be adjusted in orbit by means of 12 thrusters, each capable of generating 5kg of force.
After separation from the third stage of the Soyuz launcher, Fregat will burn its main engine three times to take
The next steps are to enclose